A programme to tackle TR4 (also known as Panama disease) in Australia’s banana industry has been allocated almost A$12.1m in funding over the next five years.
The funding has been granted by the Queensland state government, but has been offered under the requirement that as of 1 July 2019, contributions will be shared with the Australian Banana Growers Council.
Queensland minister for agriculture industry development and fisheries, Mark Furner, said the funding arrangement will allow the industry to ‘shape its future’.
“By having a seat at the table, industry can share the decisions on how Panama TR4 is contained and controlled in Far North Queensland,” he said.
At the same time, Furner also voiced his concern over federal budget cuts to biosecurity.
The funding decision was reached following an independent review of the Panama TR4 Programme which relayed the importance of tackling the disease in partnership with the industry.
“The review stated that the programme should continue but must be based on shared responsibility between government and industry,” Furner said.
“For almost four years, we have been very successful in containing the disease to just three adjoining farms. A major factor in that success has been the joint approach taken by government, industry, growers, and other key stakeholders.”