There are more than a thousand types of bananas in the world. But one variety, the Cavendish, is ubiquitous in supermarkets and makes up the vast majority of the 10 billion bananas imported into the U.S. each year. It’s also at risk of disappearing.
In late January, when the Venezuelan government announced that it had detected a banana-killing fungus on farms in some areas, it was the latest outbreak of a disease that has been slowly spreading around the world. Last year, Peru declared a state of emergency when it detected the same disease. In Colombia, where the fungus was discovered in 2019, hundreds of acres of banana trees were destroyed in an attempt to stop it from spreading.
First discovered in Taiwan in the 1990s, the fungus spread through Asia to the Middle East and Africa before ending up in Central and South America. Once it’s in the soil, it stays there, so the land can no longer be used to grow bananas.Read the full article