Will Bananas Be A Casualty Of Monoculture ?

banana

 

Cavendish Banana

 

Is the use of monoculture a viable practice? In order to answer this, we must first examine what is monoculture?  Well, monoculture is an agriculture practice where one single crop or plant species is grown continuously. Monoculture has been utliized for many crops and plants; one such crop is the banana.

Back to the question, I would argue that monoculture is not a viable practice. As seen by the outcome of the total disappearance of the Gros Michel banana, the practice of monoculture yields very disastrous drawbacks.  The Gros Michel banana, a species of banana that was consumed by virtually everyone was hit by a disease called Panama Disease. This disease wiped out the entire population of Gros Michel banana because the Gros Michel bananas were practically the same in genetic structure Wikipedia. Similar to the outcomes of a low diversity in bananas, this issue may be seen in the the wild. In a community where there is low biodiversity, a single outbreak of disease may wipe out an entire population of species because there is very few genetic diversity.  If we are to learn from mistakes, we have to prepare for the worst- a new disease which could destroy the Cavendish population.  Unfortunately, this possible disaster has already emerged. A new strain of the Panama Disease has been identified in which it effectively brings ruin to the Cavendish species. In total, the take away message here is that we should reexamine the practices of monoculture because if we continue to rely on one single type of crop for consumption, it may disappear altogether if a disease were to emerge.

Learn more about Panama Disease here : Panama Disease

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Gros Michel Banana

 

 

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5 comments on “Will Bananas Be A Casualty Of Monoculture ?

  1. Theo says:

    I agree that monoculture practices should be reexamined. A new strand of bacteria or invasive species can wipe out an entire harvest. Not only would this bring ecological disaster but also economic failure.

    • Vu Hophan says:

      Yeah, I totally agree with you. There will be devastating consequences if a strand of bacteria manages to destroy an entire harvest. In my opinion, I believe that having crops with multiple genetic makeup is more viable in the sense that there is more diversity in genetics. So when a new disease comes rolling around, there is a much higher chance of at least one variation of a crop surviving.

  2. Angie Wang says:

    Michael Pollan’s “Farmer in Chief” provides really good arguments for polyculture farming. Despite the “economic benefits”, polycultures seem the way to go because they produce a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, therefore providing healthier alternatives for a healthier population. I also agree that polycultures better ensure survival and prevent extinction.

  3. jingyiwu says:

    The mono-culture of any species is lack of flexibility to adapt the rapid change of climate, so we should keep the species diversity and avoid the mono-culture of every fundamental food we eat.

  4. Jeremy says:

    In addition, monoculture practice limits the types of crops a farmer is able to plant year-round (except for the winter months). It also requires more energy/resource usage and more workers; the only benefit is to produce crops in mass quantities, which is often more than we as a population need anyway.

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