We assess the economic welfare implications of developing and introducing a gene-edited banana with resistance against an emerging plant disease, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense Tropical race 4, on global banana production. Using a model incorporating disease dynamics and diffusion of a technological solution, we find that a 5-year delay in adoption results in discounted losses of $94 billion. Consumers always lose from delay, while the impact on producers depends on timing and severity of the disease. The results suggest that regulatory delay significantly decreases return on investment from research, and acceptance of a technological solution may depend on the distribution of benefits and costs across stakeholders.