Who pays for banana research?

A little squib in The Economist a week ago caught my eye.

The banana world was split over the merits of a merger between Chiquita and Fyffes that will create the fruit’s biggest distributor. Antitrust regulators will look closely at the deal, especially in Europe, which imposed stiff tariffs on Latin American bananas until 2012. But some say a merger makes sense, given the current squeeze in profit margins as a result of the costs of tackling potentially disastrous diseases in banana crops.

There’s a graph too, of banana exports by country. But that’s besides the point. The point, as I see it, is in that final sentence. I’d love to know how much Fyffes and Chiquita (and Dole and Uncle Tom Cobley and all) are contributing to research to combat the spread of Tropical Race 4 of Fusarium wilt. Indeed, some would say that the industry is the problem.

One Reply to “Who pays for banana research?”

  1. I would take that last sentence to mean paying for the current control of black sigatoka and the like. And though TR4 would certainly have a huge negative impact in Latin America for the export industry, I feel as though I hear relatively little about the potential destruction of BBTV there if it ever made it.

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