Australia could lose $300M worth of bananas to Cyclone Yasi
In a media release, ABGC chairman Cameron Mackay said 95% of major production was affected in the Tully and Innisfail regions, 80% in the Kennedy area south of Cardwell and 20% of the Atherton Tableland.
“The majority of Australian bananas are grown in tropical north Queensland, so this is a fairly significant disaster for our industry,” he said.
“With industry worth $400 million, a total of 75 per cent has been affected.”
This figure is less than early estimates released by news agency AAP that 90% of crops had been affected.
Mackay said there were still small production areas in southeast Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia, which meant that bananas would still be available for consumers.
“While there will be an interruption in supply for the next four months, and consumers are going to see some weather-damaged fruit, this should not detract from the fact that there is still some good quality product available,” he said.
“It is very important for our families, our workers, our economy and all Australian banana consumers that we get the mess cleared away as soon as possible, so that our crops can be replanted and buildings restored to be able to get back on the shelves sooner rather than later.
The report said crop insurance is not available for banana farms, which means growers will struggle to return production to previous levels of 450,000 cartons a week.
Photo: Flickr, NASA Goddard Photo and Video