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IPM of Banana Pest and Disease

Banana is the most important fruit crop commercially grown in a number of countries worldwide for its utilization as dessert and as staple food in certain parts of world. Among the fruit crops, it is one of the most important crops in international trade for earning the foreign exchange in many African countries. The diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses are the major limiting factor in successful quality production of this crop and almost all the commercial cultivars of banana are highly susceptible to certain deadly diseases. Recently the Panama wilt pathogen has evolved new virulent races and rampant spread of black Sigatoka pathogen have left limited options to growers to grow quality exportable produce. An integrated approach appears to be feasible in management of banana disease that includes use of improved / resistant cultivars and disease-free planting stocks, judicious use of pesticides, irrigation water, removal of diseased plants and plant parts, proper sanitation in plantation and a close monitoring of the diseases in relation to weather parameters.