Thursday, October 11, 2012


Banana (Musa spp)  among popular fruit tree grown in Malaysia for fresh and processing activity. There are a sizable area of banana grown in this country for about 27454 hectares in small scale and commercial scale. The major banana producing states are Johor, Pahang and Sarawak. They are mostly smallholder owned and grown as mono-crop, mixed crop and,  in a few instances, inter-cropped with the perennial industrial crops. Private sectors have also ventured into large-scale production of the  crop and whose plantations may stretch into several hundreds of hectares that utilize the state-of-the-art production technologies. Banana production has only increased marginally, i.e. from 262235 metric ton in 
2005 to 279762 in 2009 and the average yield hovers around 11.7 to 10.2 metric ton per hectare during the same period. This yield pales in comparison to 25.0 - 36.0 metric tons achieved by banana growers in other  countries. 

Symptoms of Moko Disease
The banana types planted include both the dessert and cooking  cultivars. Berangan, Mas, Cavendish and Rastali are examples of the dessert types while the cooking cultivars include Nangka, Raja, Lang, Relong, Tanduk, Nipah and Pisang Awak. Diseases, notably Panama and Moko diseases, pose a serious threat to this crop plant. The former has been around in the country for a very long time now while the latter was first discovered attacking the banana crop plant in Johor in 2007 in the aftermath of a severe flood that hit the state in that year. The causal agents of Panama disease, a fungus, i.e. Fusarium oxysporium f. sp. cubense and Moko disease, a bacteria called Ralstonia solanacearum race
2, biovar 1, thrive in moist soil conditions. These wilting banana diseases spread rapidly and retard crop plant growth resulting in heavy yield losses. 

Stem rot by Moko Didease
The Department of Agriculture's Diagnostic and Identification services records show that these diseases are prevalent in most parts of the country and almost all banana cultivars are not spared from their scourge. A recent survey of 3,212 hectares of banana farms in the state of Johor revealed that 60.7% and 23.5% of them were found to be respectively stricken with the Moko and Panama diseases. Several measures are being carried out to curb these menacing banana diseases. Most important among them being the adoption of good agricultural practices by growers as no other viable control options are, currently, available against these maladies. In this respect, the Department of Agriculture recommends the Best-bet practices and an Integrated Pest Management approach for growers to emulate. Essentially, they entail growing disease free planting materials, constant surveillance and vigilance so that affected crop plant maybe detected early and removed and destroyed immediately to curtail the disease spread. Coupled with this, is the need to invigorate crop plant growth so that they may ward off pest and disease intrusions. Increasing farmer awareness and knowledge should not be discounted as this too will, certainly, go a long way in the combat against these virulent diseases.

M Anem
Senior Agronomist
(23 Zulkaedah 1433H)

1 comment:

  1. salam en.anim..bleh x emailkn sy senarai pembekal tisu kultur utk pisang & cntact no. TQ en