For the last 20 years, the Cavendish—which accounts for 95 percent of all bananas sold internationally—has been hounded by a deadly, incurable fungus that can demolish entire plantations. Until last year, the Tropical Race 4 strain of the Fusarium fungus, commonly known as Panama disease, was contained in southeast Asian countries like China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Now, like a lumbering goliath, Panama disease is on the move. In October 2013, the fungus reared its head in Jordan. One month later, an outbreak was confirmed in Mozambique. There are currently unconfirmed reports in Oman, and central Asia as well.