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    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Workshops to get banana growers Panama prepared

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Monday, June 04, 2018

    Workshops to get banana growers Panama prepared

    Free workshops are being held for banana growers to help them prepare for any future Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4) detections.

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said growers needed to be ready.

    “Although only three commercial banana farms in the Tully Valley have been confirmed with the disease since 2015, we don’t where the disease will strike next,” the Minister said.

    “If Panama TR4 is detected on a farm, there are biosecurity requirements the grower will immediately need to meet to keep trading.

    “These workshops will offer an opportunity for growers to understand what these requirements are and to hear first-hand how other growers are meeting them.

    “Growers trading with the disease will be at the workshops to share their experiences and the challenges they face.

    “Biosecurity Queensland and ABGC staff will also be available to answer questions and offer technical advice.”

    For convenience, the workshop in Silkwood will be followed by the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association meeting.

    Biosecurity Queensland and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council are holding the workshops in Silkwood and Mareeba on 14 and 15 June.

    Workshop venues and times

    Thursday 14 June

    Silkwood Hotel Function Room, Cnr Edward Street and Silkwood Road

    6.15pm for a 6.30pm start to 7.30pm.

    The workshop will be followed by the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association meeting from 7.30pm. Meals can be purchased at the venue on the night.

    Friday 15 June

    Department of Natural Resources and Mines, John Charles Room on the First Floor at 28 Peters Street.

    9.45am for a 10am start to 11.30am

    Light refreshments will be served.

    Register for the workshops online here bit.ly/farmingPanamaTR4 or by calling the Panama TR4 Program on 4091 8140 or via email panamatr4@daf.qld.gov.au.

    About Panama TR4

    Panama TR4 Program leader Rhiannon Evans said Panama TR4 is a soilborne fungal disease that is easily spread in infected soil, water and plant material. The fungus enters through the roots and starves the plant of water and nutrients.

    “The disease is not eradicable and can lie dormant in the soil for decades without host plants,” she said.

    “Panama disease has severely affected commercial banana industries, both in the Northern Territory and abroad. Queensland has had the most effective control and containment program for Panama TR4 so far.”

    Media: Brock Taylor – 0427 018 178