Event 6 September 2023
“Pointe d’Or”, a new 100% organic banana variety by CIRAD
Currently, just one variety of dessert banana is grown throughout the world for the export market: the Cavendish. But this variety is particularly sensitive to some diseases, such as black Sigatoka, which is present in many production areas, including the French West Indies, and has so far required phytosanitary treatments.
To combat this disease, several actions have been undertaken in partnership with the French West Indian sector, including the creation of a resistant variety , but also the development of an agro-ecological cropping system, integrating prophylaxis and biological control methods.
The variety chosen was obtained in the context of CIRAD’s varietal improvement programmes in Guadeloupe . This is a triumph of research, since past attempts to create new varieties of banana by different international teams have ended in failure.
Number 925, recently named “Pointe d’Or” , this new variety with its agro-ecological cropping system, is now entering a commercial testing phase in metropolitan France. It will be available from early March in Carrefour Bio shops, starting with the Ile-de-France region. This is an opportunity for consumers to obtain a new organic product that meets their expectations in terms of health and environment.
A 100% organic banana
“The natural resistance of the Pointe d’Or to black Sigatoka, which now affects all production zones throughout the world, is a considerable advantage since it avoids the need for any phytosanitary treatments against this fungus and paves the way for organic banana production in the French West Indies ”, says Frédéric Salmon, a geneticist and plant breeder at CIRAD in Guadeloupe.
“The Pointe d’Or is the outcome of a collaboration with the Institut Technique Tropicale (Tropical Technical Institute) and the Guadeloupe and Martinique banana producers’ association , with which researchers from CIRAD have also developed crop management and transportation techniques ”, says Denis Loeillet, CIRAD’s banana sector correspondent.
The Pointe d’Or is thus cultivated without plant protection products , by four producers in Guadeloupe and four in Martinique, according to agro-ecological practices that meet organic farming specifications.
This production now represents 35 hectares (20 in Guadeloupe and 15 in Martinique), or around 1 000 to 1 200 tonnes expected for 2020. This figure could increase according to consumer demand.