Prices For Bananas Will Increase As Temperatures Rise, According To An Expert

The World Banana Forum’s senior economist, Pascal Liu, claims that the effects of climate change represent a “enormous threat” to supply, exacerbating the effects of rapidly spreading diseases.

Today, the forum convenes in Rome to discuss issues pertaining to the fruit.

Due to marine storms, certain UK stores have recently faced a shortage of bananas.

The world’s most exported fruit is the sweet and nutritious banana with its natural yellow wrapper.

Approximately 90% of the 5 billion bananas that are imported into the UK each year are sold in large supermarkets.

Several UK supermarkets had a banana scarcity last week. The retailers attributed the issue on storms at sea that delayed deliveries.

Prof. Dan Bebber of the University of Exeter, who has researched initiatives to make bananas more sustainable, says that most consumers won’t have noticed.

“The supply chain fluctuates but the UK is actually quite good at buffering those types of effects,” he stated.

“Mainly, because the ripening centres can accelerate or decelerate the rate at which they ripen the bananas when they arrive, which helps to buffer those types of fluctuations.”

Although the supply of bananas can withstand brief weather events like these, experts are worried about the mounting hazards posed by global warming and the diseases that are emerging as a result.

“I think climate change is really an enormous threat to the banana sector,”  stated Mr. Liu of the World Banana Forum, a UN-affiliated organization that unites merchants, exporters, producer nations, and academic institutions.

Bananas are susceptible to temperature increases, which could destroy crops in some areas in addition to the negative effects of extreme weather on productivity.

The fact that diseases are spreading more readily due to rising temperatures is perhaps the largest urgent hazard.

Fusarium Wilt TR4, a fungal illness that spread from Australia and Asia to Africa and is currently in South America, is the one that is most concerning.

Experts warn that once a plantation becomes infected, the disease kills all of the banana trees and is very difficult to eradicate.

The world’s most popular banana type, the Cavendish, is now in danger due to a fungus mutation.

“We know that the spores of this Fusarium Wilt are extremely resistant, and they can be spread by flooding, they can be spread by strong winds,” added Liu.

“So, this type of phenomenon will disseminate the disease much faster than if you had more normal weather patterns.”

In addition, producers are under pressure from growing fertilizer, energy, and transportation prices, as well as labor shortages.

When combined with the effects of climate change on supply, prices are expected to rise and remain high in the UK and other countries.

Mr. Liu declared, “There will be some price increases, indeed.” “If there’s not a major increase in supply, I project that banana prices will remain relatively high in the coming years.”

The crucial topic of sustainability will be one of the topics covered by the banana industry at its meeting in Rome.

Bananas and other goods produced sustainably are becoming more and more popular among consumers.

In order to ensure that their produce is sustainable, banana growers must pay independent inspectors in addition to implementing greener production methods.

“These regulations are a good thing in a way because they help producers seize the opportunity of making their production systems more sustainable,” stated Liu.

“But of course, they also come with costs for producers because they require more control and monitoring systems on the part of the producers and the traders. And these costs have to trickle down to the final consumers.”

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