The banana variety tolerant to Fusarium race 4, Formosana 218, is being evaluated in the provinces of Los Rios and Santa Elena by the National Institute of Agricultural Research (Iniap). The test's final results should be ready by 2025. However, the preliminary results are already drawing the attention of countries that are affected by the pest in the region. This is the case of technicians from the Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation (Agrosavia) who arrived in Santa Elena this week to verify the progress of Formosana 218.
Colombia was the first country in the region where Fusarium race 4 was detected, in 2019; then in 2021, it was detected in Peru, where there was also a second outbreak this year. Venezuela also confirmed the presence of the plague in early 2023. Meanwhile, the Plant and Animal Health Regulation and Control Agency (Agrocalidad) has stated that the fungus is not in Ecuadorian territory.
On Monday and Tuesday, Agrosavia technicians visited the plantations where Formosana 218 is being evaluated in the province of Santa Elena and observed the conditions of this variety. The information on the progress of the evaluation tests is confidential, but the private sector has learned that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has issued provisional permits with certain limitations on the number of plants, about one million plants in 350 hectares with an elite plant selection process, to start a provisional and controlled commercial distribution of that variety.