Brazil unveils disease-resistant banana breed
Brazil has launched a new Prata banana breed resistant to yellow Sigatoka fungus and Panama disease, two major ailments impacting the industry.
The "BRS Platina" variety, presented by Embrapa Mandioca e Fruticultura, a branch of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, was launched during the XXII Brazilian Congress of Fruit Crops.
Edson Perito Amorim, researcher and head of the Embrapa banana breeding program, said the main advantage of the variety comes from its resistance to disease.
"BRS Platina will satisfy the demand for fruit like Prata bananas, especially where there is Panama disease which limits Prata Anã production," he said.
BRS Platina bananas possess good qualities, identicial to Prata Anã bananas, in both their development and production.
The fruit should be eaten with the peel slightly green, as with Cavendish varieties. It should also be harvested with the same methods adopted for the Cavendish subgroup.
The new variety was developed by EPAMIG and the Baiano Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology. It has been available for tastings by consumers at a variety of a events, an important step to finalizing the product.
"Sensory analysis is a fundamental step to finalize the crop, since the fruit is consumed and evaluated under a number of quality parameters, such as taste and the visual aspect," Amorim said.