Support for banana growers in fight against Panama disease


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Queensland banana growers have received a big boost to contain the spread of Panama disease. IMAGE: Supplied.

THE fight to save Queensland’s $600 million banana industry from Panama disease has been boosted by a further $3.5 million.

More than $24 million has already been spent to contain the spread of the disease. The TR4 strain was first identified in March 2015, and a second detection was confirmed in July.

“Biosecurity Queensland has worked hand in glove with growers, local councils and the Australian Banana Growers Council to limit the spread to two properties, but the government has consistently said there can be no room for complacency,” said Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said.

“We have listened to the concerns of growers and Biosecurity Queensland will work with industry and local government stakeholders as well as the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service on the development of a feral pig management plan that complements the activities of the Panama TR4 Program.

“And with early detection critical to containing the disease, $2.4 million of the new funding will be allocated towards increasing surveillance across Far North Queensland, focussing on the properties most at risk.

Furner said research and development remains a priority to assist industry to manage the long-term impacts of the disease.

He praised the growers for their continued vigilance to enforce strict on-farm biosecurity measures to protect their farms from the disease.

“Many growers continue the fight to keep Panama disease TR4 at bay every day. Even though it has been over two and half years since the initial detection, their resolve has not waivered,” he added.

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