Australia's Bananas Have Beaten a Devastating Freckle Disease

(Bloomberg) -- Bananas in Australia put up a gallant fight against the fearsome freckle -- and won!

Banana Freckle disease was found six years ago in the Northern Territory of Australia, prompting the country’s growers, public and government agencies to band together with an eradication response program. The disease can be devastating to crops, and a spread further across the country could’ve greatly impacted production, but it has now been officially eradicated, an industry group said on Friday.

“The Territory’s commercial growers and backyard banana lovers have no doubt felt the brunt of this effort,” Stephen Lowe, Australian Banana Growers’ Council Chair, said in a statement. “We know it’s not easy to lose banana plants in any circumstance – be it natural disaster, disease or otherwise. We thank them for their part in ensuring our vibrant Australian industry is free from this potentially devastating disease.”

Banana Freckle is a fungal disease found in southeast Asia that, like its namesake, creates freckle-like spots on infected fruit and leaves and can lead to wilting and the death of plants.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.