United Nations economist predicts price increases for consumers as temperature rises make it harder to protect existing production

Bananas from Colombia

Banana prices are expected to rise

Banana prices will increase during the next few years as a global rise in temperatures makes it even harder for the industry to tackle plant diseases like Fusarium Wilt TR4.

That was the message conveyed to BBC News this week by Pascal Liu, senior economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and a key member of the World Banana Forum.

The latter organisation holds its fourth conference at FAO headquarters in Rome this week.

“I think climate change is really an enormous threat to the banana sector,” Liu told the BBC.

The industry’s biggest concern remains the fungal infection TR4. According to Liu, Fusarium Wilt spores are “extremely resistant” and likely to be spread around the world faster by current abnormal weather conditions.

“There will be some price increases, indeed,” Liu added. “If there’s not a major increase in supply, I project that banana prices will remain relatively high in the coming years.”