Welcome to Stellenbosch University

News Updates

31 August 2019

29 August 2019

17 March 2018 (Queensland Government) - Expert praises TR4 biosecurity program efforts

2018 (Business Daily) - The Banana Apocalypse?

1 February 2018 (BBC News) - Battling to save the world's bananas

31 October 2017 (Fresh Plaza) - Fears around containment of Fusarium TR4 in Africa and Asia

9 March 2016 - (British Mycological Society) - Scientists battle deadly banana fungus

10 November 2015 - (News24) - Outbreak of fungal disease could threaten SA bananas

2 November 2015 - (FreshFruitPortal) - TR4 infection spreads on Mozambique banana plantation

28 October 2015 - (Voice of America News) - Global blight threatens bananatastrophe in Mozambique

26 October 2015 - (Club of Mozambique) - Banana disease threatens all local bananas

13 October 2015 - (Club of Mozambique) - Panama disease outbreak in Northern Mozambique: Ministry bans banana movement

26 June 2015 - (ABC Country Hour Interview) - Prof Altus Viljoen interviewed in Australia

4 May 2015 - (Spektrum) - Eine welt ohne bananen:Ecuador 2014 400.JPG

14 January 2015 - (SciDevNet) - Race is on to save banana from fungus wilt:

December 2014 - (SciDev.Net's Sub-Sahara Africa) - Scientists unveil a plan to fight deadly banana disease:

13 October 2014 - (IITA News Bulletin) - New project initiated to boost cooking banana production in Uganda and Tanzania:

12 September 2014 - (CGIAR News) - Prof Altus Viljoen: Partnerships and prompt response, key to prevent the spread of banana Fusarium wilt (‘Panama disease’):

28 August 2014 - Student Science News - Saving the banana:

4 July 2014 - (E-mail from Prof Altus Viljoen, Stellenbosch University, to Promusa):

  1. Fusarium wilt is still spreading on-farm, but no cases have been reported off the plantation. A number of containment measures had been introduced, and the new cases might even be the result of earlier dissemination (before the responsible pathogen was discovered).  The pathogen has not been isolated from any of the cooking bananas growing on-farm or in the area.
  2. Representatives of eastern, southern and central Africa met in Stellenbosch, South Africa at the end of April to discuss the introduction of Foc TR4 into the continent. During this meeting factual data on the disease in Mozambique was shared with the delegates, who represent NARS and NPPOs in their respective countries; as well CG centres, universities, policy makers, collaborating partners and donors. Thus, African institutions are fully informed about the threat of Foc TR4, and have jointly developed a strategy plan to protect bananas on the continent.
  3. I also visited the FAO and investors of Matanuska last week, and can ensure you that all parties are committed to not allow the fungus to cause destruction to bananas in the rest of Africa. They realise that an immense effort is required to contain the fungus on-farm, and have invested substantially in this regard. The worst decision for them to make is to simply leave the area and allow others to walk through abandoned fields.

13 December 2013 (RTB News release) - New banana disease to Africa found in Mozambique: