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Banana fungus spreading from Asia

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is warning banana growers that a fungal disease is spreading through crops from Asia to Africa and the Middle East.

The UN agency says the disease, Fusarium Wilt TR4, has the potential to spread to Latin American banana crops.

Bananas are the world's eight most important crop and the fourth most important food crop in poor nations, the UN says.

There is no treatment for the fungal disease and its spores can remain in the soil for decades, so the Food and Agriculture Organisation says it is focusing on preventing it from spreading.

The agency says it has caused major damage in south-east Asia over 20 years and has recently been found in Mozambique and Jordan.

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