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Ongoing project

Banana bunchy top virus project, phase 4 – national surveillance and education (BA18000)

Key research provider: Australian Banana Growers’ Council

What’s it all about?

With banana bunchy top virus the most serious viral disease of bananas, this investment plays an important role in controlling the disease in Australia. Project activities are designed to protect uninfested areas; limit and remove infestation from farms and then protect from reinfestation; and to reduce the disease range.

The program’s ongoing strategy involves risk-based surveillance and plant rogueing, conducted by surveillance teams. The regularity of farm inspections will be based on the frequency and intensity of the property’s prior infections.

The program also involves a suite of awareness activities, with an education program designed to enhance the involvement of growers, consultants and other relevant partners in bunchy top management.

Phase four of this initiative has been informed by Hort Innovation Banana Fund investment Banana bunchy top virus control data (BA17001), which evaluated the effectiveness of existing control strategies and pointed towards the most economical and effective management approaches to be implemented going forward.

ACT NOW

Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) remains contained within known infested areas of south east Queensland and New South Wales, with levels within the biosecurity control areas remaining relatively static over the reporting period.

The team have focused on analysing the primary infestation sources that pose the greatest risk and impact on project resources. In the past 12 months, 73 per cent of all commercial infestation detected within NSW was found on five properties. Likewise, 91 per cent reported in south east Queensland was from three plantations. When infestation is detected, each banana plant is destroyed to minimise further spread of the disease.

The team are committed to supporting commercial growers dealing with infestation, with consideration to maximising the benefit of allocated resources. They continue to consult and engage growers to share information, enhance understanding of control requirements and encourage participation in the program.

A clear project policy regarding grower and government expectations has been published and is available for viewing on a newly dedicated page of the ABGC industry website.

Materials to assist industry were published by the team, including the Spot Verify Report Destroy brochure and the Banana Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice for sourcing and planting of banana plants in an area where serious pests are present.

Steps to address infestation in residential areas has been supported through a combination of social media and successful engagement with community groups.

ACT NOW

If you suspect bunchy top virus is present on your property, call the hotline on 1800 068 371 or email info@abgc.org.au.

Access the Spot Verify Report Destroy brochure for information about the detection and management process.

Read the Banana Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice for sourcing and planting of banana plants in an area where serious pests are present.

Read the Policy on Grower Objectives and Expectations.

Related levy funds
Details

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