tag cloud Pests & Diseases Asia, Pacific, Oceania Livelihoods Partnerships Productive & Resilient Ecosystems Bananas

Joining forces to stem banana pests and diseases in the Asia-Pacific


More than 400 million people worldwide depend on banana for their food and livelihoods. However, banana production is seriously jeopardized by pests and diseases. Asia-Pacific is a region where smallholders are particularly dependent on the production, commercialization and consumption of banana.


“Asia is the centre of diversity of banana, but it is where we also find many pests and diseases afflicting the crop. In addition, climate change is affecting the dynamics of pest and disease problems,” says Agustin Molina, Senior Scientist and Regional Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific. In December, Molina received a Guangdong International Friendship Award from one of the largest banana-producing regions of China for his work in helping to combat banana diseases.


Bioversity International, through the Banana Asia-Pacific Network (BAPNET), engages national partners in mitigating devastating diseases. Resistant varieties and other mitigating measures have been evaluated with research organizations, industry partners and farmers’ cooperatives in the Philippines. Partnerships with researchers, government agencies and companies from Australia, China, and the Taiwan Banana Research Institute have been instrumental for the adoption of disease-mitigating measures in Indonesia, China and the Philippines. Strong collaboration between BAPNET and the private sector has also helped to map the distribution of a particularly virulent disease to prevent spread in the region and beyond.


These public-private partnerships have improved the supply of affordable clean planting material and farmers’ incomes. Bioversity and partners are now scaling out this innovative partnership model in Asia-Pacific.


This work contributes to the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas.



Photo: Local varieties of banana sold at the Solok market in Sumatra, Indonesia - Credit: Bioversity International/A. Molina