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UN warns banana fungus spreading from SE Asia

April 14, 2014

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture organization is warning banana growers that a fungal disease is spreading through crops from Asia to Africa and the Middle East.

The U.N. agency says the disease called Fusarium Wilt TR4 has the potential to spread to Latin American banana crops.

Bananas are the world’s eight most important crop and the fourth most important food crop in poor nations, the U.N. says.

There is no treatment for the fungal disease and its spores can remain in the soil for decades, so the Food and Agriculture Organization says it is focusing on preventing it from spreading.

The agency says it has caused major damage in Southeast Asia over 20 years and has recently been found in Mozambique and Jordan.

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