Australia loses more than 90% of banana crop to Cyclone Yasi
Australia’s National Farmers Federation president Jock Laurie told news agency AAP that banana production recovery could take 12 to 18 months, after Cyclone Yasi destroyed crops in north Queensland.
The story cited early predictions that more than 90% of the country’s banana crop could be wiped out.
Australian Banana Growers Council president Cameron Mackay told media group ABC the storm had destroyed his own plantation in Tully, but in the wake of the cyclone there were hardly any trees left.
“We've copped a real hiding. We've definitely lost all those plants,” he was quoted as saying. “It's probably fortunate that we are very early in the season, that we have got a fair bit of time to be able grow that plant back in through summer at the moment."
The ABC reported that the total damage to businesses from Yasi would be more than $41 billion, including industries like sugar, bananas and tourism, given the region’s prized asset the Great Barrier Reef.
Newspaper the Herald Sun reported wholesalers expected banana prices to double, while sugar futures contracts hit 30-year highs.
The story highlighted that north Queensland is also home to watermelon, mango, papaya, paw paw, mandarin and avocado farms.
Photo: Flickr, NASA Goddard Photo and Video