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$16m drive to strengthen Australia’s banana defences

Staff Writer |
In the wake of disease incursions that have affected pockets of the banana industry, Horticulture Innovation Australia has announced a $15.9 million initiative to support one of the nation’s most loved snacks.

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Being driven by industry through complementary projects with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and the University of Queensland (UQ), the four-year initiative will work to develop access to banana varieties with improved pest, disease and consumer-preference traits.

Horticulture Innovation Australia chief executive John Lloyd said more than five years of research to support the banana industry to date has proven invaluable when dealing with incursions of Panama Tropical Race 4 (TR4) and Banana Freckle in the NT.

He said this new research would arm industry with the tools it needs to continue to meet consumer demand and combat pest and disease threats well into the future.

As part of the research, QDAF is charged with delivering improved pest and disease management systems and identifying and testing new improved banana varieties to improve efficiency and sustain production in the face of disease.

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