Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Banana plantations may soon disappear

Can you imagine life without bananas?

Unfortunately, we could soon run out of this tasty and incredibly healthy fruit.

Banana plantations in the near future could disappear from the face of the planet due to monoculture - the way of agriculture, which is used for the industrial cultivation of bananas.

Monoculture threatens the health of plants

Monoculture (mono from the ancient Greek - and I lat. Cultura - Agriculture) is a form of agriculture, including cultivation of one plant species on the same land for several years in a row.

Monoculture has many biological disadvantages:

- Encourages the spread of parasites and pathogens that can lead to poor harvest
- Impoverishes the soil, plants do not receive the necessary nutrients
- Increasing the need for increased use of pesticides
- Pesticides kill beneficial microbes that protect plants from disease

As a result, plants in monoculture become weak and susceptible to disease. They begin to spread dangerous microorganisms and plants against them can not fight.

This is exactly what is happening now in many banana plantations in the world.

Killer fungus destroying banana plantations

Bananas could disappear from supermarket due to a deadly disease that is caused by monoculture. This disease has already ravaged banana plantations in Southeast Asia.

The disease causing fungus Race IV, which they call banana plague. The fungus is spread in monocultures, such as those which are grown Cavendish bananas - the best selling and most cultivated species of banana in the world.

Although there are thousands of other species of banana, many of which have a better aroma and flavor, banana growers have chosen precisely the type of Cavendish, due to its long shelf life and looks nicer.

However, it seems that the lack of genetic diversity in the banana industry, caused her disappearance.

Scientists have long warned that the fungus Race IV soon spread to other parts of the world. When this happens, bananas are no longer able to grow - they will simply ugibati due to illness.

Not only that - the soil on the plantation, even the earth around them, will be unusable for growing plants in the next few decades.

"Probably the fungus already exists on our planet, but now has spread through monokultirnim plantations." - Heather Smith writes in a recent interview. "It seems that in the 21 century monoculture plantations disappear completely. "

This has already happened once

Before the 1960s, the world's species are cultivated banana Gros Michel, which was delicious and much better than the Cavendish. Unfortunately, this type is completely missing due to a disease that has spread to banana plantation monokulturnoj.

Gros Michel was replaced by the Cavendish. But if and Cavendish gone, no more industrial type of banana that could be replaced.

In many parts of the world people are successfully grown various types of bananas on small farms or in your own garden. Since these bananas not grown in monoculture, the disease does not attack them.

When we finally realize that industrial farming methods bring more harm than good? 

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