Training video for banana disease diagnosis

May 15, 2023

The Crawford Fund’s New South Wales Committee has funded the development of a video which demonstrates the process of surveying and sampling banana plantations for leaf spot diseases.

The video is targeted at field and extension officers who do not make the diagnosis themselves but who are the first point-of-contact for banana farmers concerned about their plants,” said Dr Jay Anderson, a plant pathologist with over 20 years experience working with a range of tropical and subtropical horticultural crops, and now a Senior Lecturer at Southern Cross University.

The video has been recorded in English and Lao language and is available via the video sharing platform Vimeo ( (English version) and (Lao language version).

Stills from the training video, from top left clockwise, cutting down a diseased leaf, looking at a diseased leaf, discussing farming practices and placing a leaf into a sample bag.

“The video covers skills a field officer needs to know when sampling a banana plantation for leaf diseases including; preparing a field sampling kit, basic biosecurity practices, liaising with growers, signs and symptoms of banana leaf diseases in the field and using basic diagnostics resources,” said Jay.

In addition to the videos themselves there are links in the Vimeo description to useful resources which will help field and extension officers. These include: a field notes template, a sampling equipment checklist, information on leaf streak/ Sigatoka diseases, information on banana freckle diseases, and a diagnostics manual for plant diseases in general.

“While this video and the links were developed as a stand-alone resource it is hoped that they will be useful as part of in-country training in the future. The video was made with international colleagues in mind so hopefully there are not too many challenges for them in implementing the training,” concluded Jay.