Banana ( spp.) is one of the world's most valuable primary agricultural commodities. Exported fruit are key commodities in several producing countries yet make up less than 15% of the total annual output of 145 million metric tons (MMT). Transnational exporters market fruit of the Cavendish cultivars, which are usually produced in large plantations with fixed infrastructures and high inputs of fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation. In contrast, smallholders grow diverse cultivars, often for domestic markets, with minimal inputs. Diseases are serious constraints for export as well as smallholder production. Although black leaf streak disease (BLSD), which is present throughout Asian, African, and American production areas, is a primary global concern, other diseases with limited distributions, notably tropical race 4 of Fusarium wilt, rival its impact. Here, we summarize recent developments on the most significant of these problems.


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