CGIAR research center Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (Alliance/CGIAR), and Boost Biomes, Inc. announced the initiation of a project to evaluate Boost’s biological products to address Fusarium wilt in bananas.
Their joint program will address diseases in bananas for which there is currently no effective treatment, and where biological products are preferred, starting with Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4.
In this program, the Alliance/CGIAR will conduct field trials on Boost’s product to address Fusarium wilt TR4, an untreatable disease that threatens many cultivars of bananas and plantains that are grown for local consumption, as well as the Cavendish banana, the main cultivar that is grown for export.
“Boost’s initial data shows effective protection of Cavendish bananas from Fusarium wilt TR4. We, at the Alliance/CGIAR, are excited to expand on their efforts into field trials in Peru and other countries that are facing the immediate threat of Fusarium wilt TR4,” said Miguel Dita, senior scientist of plant health for sustainable production, at the Alliance/CGIAR. “This disease is spreading to many countries that produce bananas and threatening the global supply. Local smallholder farmers will be the first to feel these effects; there is a desperate need for products like Boost’s.”
Jamie Bacher, Boost’s CEO agreed. “Alliance/CGIAR is uniquely positioned to evaluate our product in the regions where it is most needed. The global-scale and environmentally sound perspective that they bring to bear on problems like the Fusarium wilt TR4 challenge is exactly what’s needed. We look forward to working with the Alliance/CGIAR on this first product, and advanced products generated via our platform technology.”