Black Sigatoka

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Black Sigatoka is a leaf spot disease of banana plants caused by fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis Morelet. Plants with leaves damaged by the disease may have up to 50% lower yield of fruit.

In commercial export plantations, Black Sigatoka is controlled by frequent applications of fungicides. Removal of affected leaves, good drainage, and sufficient spacing also help to fight the disease. Although fungicides improved over the years, the pathogen developed resistance. Therefore, higher frequency of application is required, increasing the impact on the environment and health of the banana workers.

Small farmers growing bananas for local market cannot afford expensive measures to fight the disease. However, some cultivars of banana are resistant to the disease. Research is done to improve productivity and fruit properties of these cultivars.