Caribbean banana producers are worried about the spread of Black Sigatoka through the region, and its effects on the livelihoods of banana farmers.
From the American Phytopathological Society:
Black Sigatoka, which is also known as black leaf streak, causes significant reductions in leaf area, yield losses of 50% or more, and premature ripening, a serious defect in exported fruit.
In export plantations, Black Sigatoka is controlled with frequent applications of fungicides and cultural practices, such as the removal of affected leaves, and adequate spacing of plants and efficient drainage within plantation. In total, these are very expensive practices. …Their great expense makes them essentially unavailable to small-holder farmers who grow this crop, it is these producers who are affected most by this important disease.
This report from windward-bananas.com [PDF] informs that Black Sigatoka has been present in Belize, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad for several years. More recently, the disease has been found in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (see also), St. Lucia (more), and Guyana. Agriculture officials in Dominica have been preparing farmers for the arrival of the disease.