Maputo — The Jacaranda banana production company has fully restored activities within 15,000 hectares in Metocheria locality of Monapo district, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, after an outbreak of the Panama disease that caused the Matanuska company, which was initially implementing the project, to go bankrupt.
During the 1950s, Panama disease (also known as fusariaum wilt) almost wiped out the then dominant type of commercial banana, the Gros Michel banana. The disease inflicted enormous costs and forced producers to switch to other, disease-resistant cultivars. In recent years, a new outbreak of Panama disease caused by the strain Tropical Race 4 (TR4) threatens the production of the Cavendish banana<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavendish_banana>, today's most popular type.
Jacaranda has inherited all the assets from Matanuska and took control of banana production in Metocheria in 2018. The first move by the new management consisted of the replacement of the banana trees by a disease resistant variant.
In order to ensure sustainable production, the new management has installed a research laboratory and sought means to prevent the occurrence of similar problems, according to a report in Thursday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias".
The Mozambican Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , Celso Correia, visiting the province, was impressed with the results achieved by the laboratories and advised them to share the experiences with undergraduate students from higher institutions across the country, to ensure the transfer of know-how.
The Jacaranda company currently employs 950 workers and plans to increase the work-force to 1,500 employees over the next two years.