THE first truckloads of bananas have left two farms in northern Queensland which are under quarantine for Panama disease.
The farms at Tully and Mareeba have been under strict quarantine regulations since March but at the start of this week, began harvesting again under strict interim arrangements developed by Biosecurity Queensland.
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne said the operators started loading their trucks with pallets of bananas leaving their premises yesterday and today.
"The bananas are bound for New South Wales and Western Australia," said Mr Byrne.
"Both properties are working to strict biosecurity guidelines which allow harvesting while stopping any risk of further disease spread.
"After more than eight weeks of this response, these two properties are still the only banana farms where Panama disease has been confirmed.
"We are working hard to keep it that way. Through close cooperation with industry and these individual growers we have succeeded in putting in place the most stringent biosecurity requirements that allow production to resume while safeguarding the wider industry."
Australian Banana Growers' Council (ABGC) Deputy Chairman Adrian Crema said it was great to see both farms once again sending bananas to market.
"It gives the industry a lot of confidence to see these farms back in production," he said.
"Banana growers need to know that there are biosecurity arrangements in place for Panama disease tropical race 4-infected properties to keep farming."
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