Local banana plantation near Murwillumbah.
Local banana plantation near Murwillumbah.

All-out assault on bunchy top

WELL-known Murwillumbah horticulturist David Peasley has been appointed to head a team of NSW experts aiming to completely eradicate bunchy top disease which has cursed the banana industry for decades.

The team has embarked on a three-year national project to begin elimination of the disease in subtropical bananas as the first stage towards the complete eradication of the virus in Australia.

Mr Peasley, co-ordinator for the NSW part of the project, said the team's strategy will focus on containing the virus to affected areas, reducing the level of the virus in those areas and setting the scene for the eradication of the virus

“The strategy will involve a number of measures based around increased surveillance,” Mr Peasley said.

“More frequent inspections are planned and the detectors will be looking around, as well as in plantations.

He said two specialist detectors had been employed to find infected plants, and growers were assisting by keeping an eye out for the symptoms.

The program would also use aerial surveillance to find possible infected plants in scrub or forest areas.



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