According to a University of Alberta researcher crop diversity is needed in order to save bananas, one of the most popular fruits on the market. He is currently on his way to Africa to investigate the threat to the most common type of banana.
"This is a significant issue," said Stan Blade, dean of agriculture, life, and environmental sciences. "Canadians eat about five kilograms, 12 pounds, of bananas [each] every year. This is a major export crop across the world — $11 billion."
"The threat, though serious, isn't unique," he says relying on one variety of banana puts the system in jeopardy.
"Gros Michel, the previous variety — beautiful, a very tasty variety as a matter of fact — wiped out by Panama disease; now here we are, 40 or 50 years later, the industry replaced by one other type of banana."
Blade hopes scientists and researchers will prompt the industry to grow other varieties.