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Guadeloupe Produces Disease-Resistant Banana That Is Also Organic At Cirad

BASSE-TERRE — Guadeloupe says it created an disease-resistant hybrid organic banana that is starting to show promise.

The CIRAD 925 variety of bananas was created in the 2000s at research stations after years of hybridization and selection.

It is characterized by its resistance to the Black Sigatoka disease which now affects banana crops all over the world.

“Thanks to this natural immunity, we can avoid any fungus treatment in the fields” explains Frédéric Salmon, breeder researcher at Cirad in Guadeloupe. “This opens the road for organic production in the West Indies.”

Thanks to the joint effort of Cirad, the Tropical Technical Institute (IT2) and the Caribbean Banana Producers Association (UGPBAN), many obstacles to the marketing of this fruit have been lifted.

Today, it is distributed by the Carrefour group in Guadeloupe only. The post-harvest quality of the variety does not meet the criteria set by the banana sector for exportation to Europe.

Since 2017, five acres of this variety are being converted to organic crops. After the three years required for conversion, a new AB variety of bananas will be produced.

It will be sold on the Caribbean market as of 2020 and will fully comply with the AB regulations of the European Union.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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