Posts Tagged ‘bananas’

Flood-hit town sees off Dianne but Carlos is on the horizon

February 20, 2011 Comments off

HARD-HIT residents of Western Australia’s northern Gascoyne region are bracing for more floods after high river levels left a family stranded and crops damaged on the weekend.

At Carnarvon, 910km north of Perth, the river’s peak was among the highest ever recorded on Saturday because of rain from Cyclone Dianne.

This week, the town is expected to be affected by a re-formed Cyclone Carlos.

On Saturday, the Gascoyne River peaked at 7.1m, leaving one family with two small children stranded on its north side.

Fire and Emergency Services Authority media liaison officer Brian Halberg said the family had been evacuated by emergency workers and their home was undamaged by the floodwaters.

Flooding was much Read more…

Devastating fungus ravages common banana crops

January 13, 2011 Comments off

WASHINGTON — A fungus scientists have dubbed “the HIV of banana plantations” has ravaged huge crops of the cavendish variety — the only kind of banana available in American grocery stores.

The spread of the soil-borne fungus Tropical Race IV has ruined crops across China, the Philippines and Australia, and is expected to spread next to Central America, where American distributors get the fruit.

Two teams of scientists are trying to genetically engineer cavendish bananas that are resistant to the fungus.

There are thousands of kinds of bananas worldwide, but the Cavendish, discovered in a Chinese household garden by a nineteenth-century British Explorer, represents 99 percent of the international market, according to a New Yorker report.

Most other exported varieties won’t withstand the international trip or ripen too quickly.

The New Yorker reports in 2008 Americans ate 7.6 billion pounds of Cavendish bananas, which at 60 cents a pound are also very cheap.

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