The banana leaf spotting disease yellow Sigatoka is established and actively controlled in Australia through intensive chemical treatments and diseased leaf removal. In the State of Queensland, the State government imposes standards for de-leafing to minimise the risk of the disease spreading in 6 banana pest quarantine areas. Of these, the Northern Banana Pest Quarantine Area is the most significant in terms of banana production. Previous regulations imposed obligations on owners of banana plants within this area to remove leaves from plants with visible spotting on more than 15 per cent of any leaf during the wet season. Recently, this leaf disease threshold has been lowered to 5 per cent. In this paper we examine the likely impact this more-costly regulation will have on the spread of the disease. We estimate that the average net benefit of reducing the diseased leaf threshold is only likely to be $1.4 million per year over the next 30 years, expressed as the annualised present value of tightened regulation. This result varies substantially when the timeframe of the analysis is changed, with shorter time frames indicating poorer net returns from the change in protocols. Overall, the benefit of the regulation change is likely to be minor.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|