Climate-Smart Bananas

  • Reay D
  • Reay D
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Some 130 countries grow bananas, with the 120 million tonnes they produce each year mainly being grown by smallholders for home consumption or sale at local markets. Around 800,000 tonnes are imported to the UK each year with each banana having a carbon footprint of 100-200 grams. We waste over a million bananas a day in Britain, at a cost to the climate of over 30,000 tonnes of emissions annually. Disease is the number one threat as almost all our bananas come from a single variety called Cavendish. A fungal disease called Topical Race 4 is already destroying large numbers of banana plants around the world. Storm damage, floods and drought likewise pose an increasing risk. Boosting plant health through good water and nutrient management can help to give resilience to climate change and disease threats alike. Organic production and the use of biological pest control are also proving successful. Once so rare in the West they were considered an exotic fancy, the banana is now a staple part of the daily menu for millions. Whether you like yours greenish and firm, spotty and sweet, or mostly black and super-soft, the different ripening stages of the bananas in our fruit bowls belie the almost




Reay, D., & Reay, D. (2019). Climate-Smart Bananas. In Climate-Smart Food (pp. 81–91). Springer International Publishing.

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