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Ongoing project

Management of banana pests and diseases in North Queensland (BA17005)

Key research provider: Australian Banana Growers' Council

What’s it all about?

Contracted in 2018, this investment supports an Australian Banana Growers’ Council Plant Health Officer to assist North Queensland banana growers in containing and managing significant pests and diseases, and to help in the early detection of exotic pests and diseases. The role involves conducting surveillance, education, awareness and guidance activities with growers, and other biosecurity-related activities.

The project’s Plant Health Officer (PHO) has been busy engaging with the banana industry, resulting in improved grower appreciation of the importance of effectively controlling endemic pests and diseases, and increased community awareness of biosecurity issues.

Some specific activities and results have included:

  • Approximately 81 per cent of inspected farms were compliant with relevant Bananas Queensland requirements at the first farm visit, with 100 per cent voluntarily compliant after a follow-up visit, which is well above the 80 per cent compliance target
  • All commercial farms in the region were visually surveyed for leaf spot, which is in line with the requirement to do this twice yearly
  • Adoption of biosecurity best management practices has been enhanced by discussion with individual growers, with additional support and advice provided by the PHO
  • Many growers now have biosecurity signage at their property entrances, with support of the project provided where needed
  • The risk of black sigatoka and other exotic diseases has been decreased by surveillance of all growers in the northern production area. Diagnostic results of 47 specimens collected indicated the continued absence of black sigatoka and that the most common leaf disease over this time was yellow sigatoka.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund