Brazilian and Dutch researchers are seeking to cut pesticide use on bananas by up to a half. The Brazilian agricultural research corporation, the Embrapa, and the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands have developed a partnership, the banana pesticide reduction programme, the PRPB. Its focus is on the control of black sigatoka (Mycosphaerella fijiensis) and to a lesser extent on burrowing nematodes (Radopholus similis). The researchers target the 50% pesticide use reduction within ten years. The PRPB aims to offer integrated control using a combination of genetic, biological and chemical tools. It has already mapped the black sigatoka fungus genome sequence. For some varieties, the -only solution" is the production of genetically modified disease-resistant bananas, the Embrapa says.