First Dutch bananas could help tackle worldwide fungal threat
University grows 60 plants on coco peat and rock wool, avoiding soil-borne disease.
Bananas in a supermarket. Fusarium wilt threatens banana production throughout south-east Asia. Photograph: Alan Porritt/AAP
A Dutch university has grown the Netherlands’ first crop of bananas as part of a research programme that could help protect the fruit from a deadly fungus that threatens production worldwide.
Wageningen University grew 60 banana plants in its greenhouses on coco peat and rock wool, avoiding the threat of a soil-borne fungal disease that could destroy hundreds of thousands of hectares of banana plants around the world, local media reported. The crop will be offered to local hospitals and restaurants.