Panama disease

In March 2015, Biosecurity Queensland confirmed that Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4) was present in north Queensland.

If you believe you have plants infected with Panama TR4, call Biosecurity Queensland immediately on 13 25 23.

To receive regular updates, subscribe to the Panama TR4 Program Update, by selecting Biosecurity news within the eNewsletter section and Bananas under Biosecurity Queensland Alerts.

Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4) is a serious disease of bananas. It’s caused by a fungus that lives in the soil and is easily spread by movement of infected banana plants and planting material, and contaminated soil and water. The fungus travels up the stem, blocks the tissues that carry water and nutrients, and eventually kills the plant. People, machinery and animals can spread the disease.

Panama TR4 was first found in Queensland on a commercial banana farm in 2015 in the Tully Valley. Panama TR4 was detected on a second farm in 2017 and a third in 2018. All farms are in close proximity to each other. The first time it was detected in Australia was in the Northern Territory in 1997.

Panama TR4 can’t be eradicated and can survive in the soil for decades without host plants. It is one of the greatest threats to worldwide banana production, and in some countries it has had a devastating impact on industries and livelihoods. If not managed, it has the potential to do the same in Far North Queensland.

Managing Panama TR4

Since the initial detection in March 2015, the Queensland Government funded Panama TR4 Program (Program) has worked closely with the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) to control and contain the disease through surveillance, compliance on known infested properties, and communication and education activities.

In 2019, a working group was established between the Program and the ABGC to develop a partnership agreement to jointly fund and deliver the Program in Queensland until 2023.

The Panama TR4 Program team is located in Moresby QLD. Contact us (07) 4091 8140 or panamatr4@daf.qld.gov.au.

Watch this short video to find out more about Panama TR4 and what you can do to protect the banana industry from this serious disease

See how one grower is getting Panama TR4 ready and find out how we can be PanamaTR4ready.