Philippine banana producers have started producing a banana variety that can resist the dreaded Panama disease. However, the main market for Philippine bananas, China, is reluctant to buy it because it looks like their local variety, a company official said.
Alberto Bacani, chair of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, said recently that Chinese buyers are not keen on buying the Giant Cavendish Tissue Culture Variant 218 because the variety looks like their own.
“There’s some truth to that because it actually looks like the local banana in China,” Bacani said when asked on the reception of the market of the variety which local banana growers have started producing to prevent the entry of Fusarium wilt, a soil-borne disease, into their farms.
Fusarium wilt, popularly known as Panama disease because of its country of origin, makes the plant wilt and renders the farm where it is present as useless. Usually, growers need to quarantine the farm to prevent the spread of the disease.
However, Bacani said the result of their sensory test in Japan between a regular Cavendish banana and the GCTCV 218 and in terms of texture and aroma, the reception was better for the new variety.