As a preventive measure, the Association of Banana Growers of Colombia (Augura), together with the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), implemented, in 2010, strategies and phytosanitary measures for the prevention of the fungus Fusarium TR4 (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense: scientific name) in Colombia.
Faced with the first record of the disease in the country, in August 2019, Augura, ICA, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development defined actions to strengthen biosecurity protocols in exporting regions, where about US$5 million has been invested.
"The efforts made by the agribusiness through each of its affiliates, as well as the National Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and ICA, have made it possible to contain the disease. However, this fungus is easily dispersed, so it is essential to continue and strengthen all biosecurity protocols to guarantee the health of the banana crop and the social, labor, and economic sustainability of more than 155,000 families in the country," stated the president of Augura, Emerson Aguirre Medina, who also highlights the 5 main lines of action in terms of biosecurity:
- Phytosanitary biosecurity: Construction of 17 washing and disinfection stations in the production areas with coverage to date of 360,400 vehicles, 673 pressure washers, 421 back pumps, 42,155 liters of disinfectant, 589 disinfectant concentration test strips, 2,173,850 meters of wire for enclosures and 35,533 pounds of Trichoderma.
- Phytosanitary inspection and surveillance: more than 12 inspection and surveillance for the 38,000 hectares affiliated with the association.
- Risk communication and dissemination: 100,400 people (employees and the community in general) have been trained through the delivery of informative material. In addition, an educational campaign has been scheduled, mainly on radio and television, with approximately 27,000 broadcast in the media in the banana-producing regions.
Analysis and diagnosis: 2,600 samples have been examined by molecular tests by ICA and a laboratory was built with the necessary equipment to diagnose the fungus in the Uraba region.
Inter-institutional work, as well as the commitment of producers, traders, and other actors in the banana chain, are the key for Colombia to continue to be an international reference in the containment of Fusarium TR4.
For more information:
Emerson Aguirre Medina
Tel: +57 315 510 2981