Issue Date: Dec 31, 2010
IT’S yellow, sweet, large, uniformly sized and firmly textured. For almost everyone the Cavendish variety is the banana. But it was not so until the 1950s when a fungus knocked out its predecessor, Gros Michel, the sweetest variety known so far. The Cavendish, once a littleknown Vietnamese variety, successfully resisted the virus and became the most widely cultivated and traded banana across the world. But towards early 1990s, a virulent strain of the fungus emerged. Called Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, it has destroyed Cavendish plantations in major banana exporting countries in Asia, including China, The Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia.
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