The banana industry is in a hiatus with the onset of Banana Freckle which is a disease caused by a fungus that infects the leaves and fruit of bananas. Infected fruit develops sandpaper like spots on the leaves and fruit caused by the disease’s fungal spore structures. Banana freckle was detected in the Top End of the Northern Territory (NT) in 2013, and a campaign to eradicate it is under way. About 3000 Darwin area residents and growers who had their banana plants destroyed during the first phase of the eradication program have been invited to join the next stage of the eradication program by planting sentinel banana plants. If you were offered a place in the sentinel program, please reply by the letter or email you received. From 1 May 2016 you must have a permit to obtain banana plants in red zones. All banana plants in red zones must be covered by a permit or they will be destroyed.
To apply for a banana permit or for more information on the sentinel planting stage of the banana freckle eradication program visit the NT Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries website visa: http://www.nt.gov.au/d/bananafreckle