Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

freshfruitlogoffp
March 31st, 2015

Banana Panama disease 2

 

The Tropical Race 4 strain (TR4) of Fusarium oxysporum which causes Panama disease in Cavendish bananas has been found in a Pakistani plantation and a Lebanese farm in two more separate outbreaks. At http://www.freshfruitportal.com, we caught up with Wageningen University & Research Centre lead researcher Gert Kema who discussed implications for the Indian subcontinent as the disease’s spread continues.

 

Bananas – Marlith – Wikimedia Commons panorama

Kema became involved after reading an online forum post made by banana grower Hadi Bux Laghari from Asim Agriculture Farm in Pakistan, who was suspicious some of his plants were showing signs of the deadly fungus.

“I immediately responded to him and asked him if he could cut one of the plants to see how it looks internally, so that’s what he did and he said that he was almost sure that it’s Panama disease,” Kema told http://www.freshfruitportal.com.

“I asked him to document everything, take photographs and send the samples to me which he did. We looked into the material once we received it here and we carried out DNA tests and various other tests, isolated the fungus and infected healthy banana plants and eventually we confirmed that is was indeed TR4.”

Initially the infected area in Pakistan was just six hectares; Kema now believes that has increased to more than 100 hectares.

Simultaneously, he was analyzing suspected Panama disease plant specimens sent from another plantation in Lebanon, after concerned growers also suspicious of the disease and posted samples to the Dutch lab.

“Once again the diagnosis was TR4. The acreage in Pakistan is a few hundred hectares whereas in Lebanon it’s very limited with just a few hectares. These are two new incursions in Pakistan and Lebanon and come very quickly after what happened in Queensland, Australia a little while ago and in Jordan and Mozambique last year.

“We are almost sure that it arrived in Lebanon via a man from Jordan transporting infected plants as TR4 was already reported in Jordan but as far as Pakistan is concerned, we don’t have the slightest idea how it got there.”

What are the next steps?

Kema plans to visit the Lebanon plantation over the coming months but is concerned that ‘communication difficulties’ in Pakistan may hamper his recommendations.

“Frankly speaking the communication is pretty difficult with Pakistan so I’m afraid I don’t yet have a good idea of how they are currently handling it, although of course we have recommended for them to take immediate action in terms of isolation and quarantine.

“The first thing to do of course is to isolate, not only those contaminated plants, but any other plants that show symptoms as well as surrounding plants, and quarantine all of them.

“I have never been to Pakistan and I don’t know yet whether they will be following these recommendations or not. At present all we can do is offer our advice and recommendations on what should be done now. I am happy to buy a ticket and just fly out there but communication has been very difficult so far.”

Although both of the latest outbreaks are of major concern and demonstrate TR4 has global implications, Kema believes the Pakistan outbreak is very significant because of its close proximity to India, a global leader in banana production.

“These are both significant but particularly so in Pakistan because the plantation there has a substantial area of bananas and they grow in an area that is frequently flooded which is one way to spread the disease.

“Without dramatizing the situation, India is a major banana producer in the world and to have Panama disease next door shows there is definitely a risk and so having this strain in the Indian sub continent is definitely not a good thing.

“This is just another sign that shows the issue of Panama disease is becoming more and more serious with TR4 popping up in different countries which is a huge alert for quarantine action to be taken as well as awareness campaigns. I really hope that maybe officers from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) or others can get in touch with the growers in Pakistan and see how they can effectively quarantine.”

How was TR4 transported?

This question still remains unclear but it’s an important one for Kema who suggests several theories.

“People can take this along with them as it were, although we don’t know in exactly what form, particularly in Pakistan’s case but we do know that it spreads very quickly. It could be through infected plants, perhaps someone smuggled plants or they carry contaminated tools or wear contaminated shoes.

“We are generating a lot of new information in general terms regarding Panama disease, some of which I cannot disclose yet, but there are still very many questions we need to find answers for.”

http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2015/03/31/panama-disease-tr4-detected-in-pakistan-lebanon/?country=australia

http://www.freshfruitportal.com

 

Read Full Post »

FRESH

PLAZA

Discovery of fruit fly infested mangoes in one of the shipment from Pakistan in the United Kingdom (UK) has threatened import of Pakistani mangoes to the European Union this year. Concerned authorities in Pakistan had made bold claims that all the necessary measures have been taken to ensure quality control of the Pakistani mangoes in a bid to increase the export of the exotic fruit to EU in be presence of ban on Indian mangoes. The Department of Plant Protection (DPP) decided to stop exporting mangoes to UK and EU without hot water treatment with immediate effect.

UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on June 17 inspected a shipment of mangoes from Pakistan it was found infested with fruit fly. This is the first case of fruit fly infestation of Pakistani mangoes. If four more such shipments are found, EU will impose the ban on the import of Pakistani mangoes.

Department of Plant Protection (DPP) has taken precautionary measures to avoid any possible EU ban and have decided to export only those mangoes which have received the hot water treatment to kill all the fruit flies.

Pakistan earned about $25 million by exporting mangoes to EU during 2013 mango season. EU earlier had banned Indian mangoes and it is an opportunity for Pakistani mango producers to fill the gap with good quality and better tasting mangoes from Pakistan.

Source: newspakistan.pk
Publication date: 6/24/201

Read Full Post »

International

TheNews

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-249329-Farms-declared-eligible-to-export-mangoes-to-EU

Salman Siddiqui
Sunday, May 11, 2014
From Print Edition

KARACHI: The Pakistan Quarantine Department of Plant Protection (DPP) has so far declared only 15 farms of mangoes eligible to export the fruit to the Europe Union (EU) without hot water treatment, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) reported on Saturday.

However, majority of the farms located in Sindh will still have to treat the fruit to kill flies, as the DPP has so far declared only one farm eligible in the province to export the fruit without the treatment to EU nations, Waheed Ahmed, spokesman of the association, said after attending a meeting summoned by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in Islamabad the other day.

The export of the fruit is set to start from May 25, while Sindh is the first province in the country that picks mangoes. Punjab follows Sindh in picking and exporting mangoes, it was learnt.

The food secretary chaired the said meeting. Another participant of the meeting Seerat Asghar Joura said that the department had initially estimated to declare eligible about 100 farms for the export with the treatment.

Tariq Khan, deputy director of DPP, said that the process of the inspection and registration of farms had yet not been over in the country. “This may remain lasted till Punjab starts producing and exporting the fruit sometime in July,” he said.

Officials of the quarantine department, which is responsible to make sure exporting pest and fruit fly-free mangoes to the world, have visited 35 orchards in Sindh and 36 orchards in Punjab so far.

The department has approved only one farm in Sindh to export the fruit without hot water treatment, while other 34 could not export their fruit without giving the treatment, sources said.

While in Punjab, the department has approved 14 orchards, rejected three and asked remaining 19 orchards to improve their standards to export their fruit without the treatment, they said.

There are only four with the approved treatment plants. Durrani Associates own three of them. Babar Durrani of the associates said that his company was charging Rs20 per kilogramme for the treatment.

“The treatment helps exporter to earn up to 50 percent additional revenue against those who export their fruits without the treatment,” Durrani said.

He, who also attended the meeting, said that exporting pest- and fly-free mangoes to EU was a serious challenge instead of an opportunity. If the EU bans Pakistan like it banned Indian mangoes in April might result into halt of exports of the fruit to many other counties as well, he said.

Durrani said that the meeting resolved to export only quality fruit to EU. “All exporters at the meeting agreed to set their focus on quality instead of quantity to EU nations,” he said.

Ahmed of PFVA said that the ministry had also approved exporting mangoes into boxes of weight of two kilogrammes, three kg, four kg, and five kg, and banned export of the fruit in 1.5 kg of box.

“The box of 1.5 kg cannot accommodate big size mangoes, while there are always chances of fruit flies in small size mangoes,” he said.

Read Full Post »