Colombia conducts mock Panama Disease TR4 drill
The Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) recently held a simulation exercise to see how the public and private sector would respond to the fungus, which last year made its first incursion into Australia's main banana growing region and has been dubbed the potential cause of "bananageddon".
The exercise, held in conjunction with industry groups AUGURA and ASBAMA, was designed to establish whether current practices would be viable from an operational and cost perspective if an outbreak were to occur.
The initiative tok place on a farm that already had symptoms of Panama Disease Race 1 and 2, which already exist in many countries where bananas are grown.
The drill involved two stages: the first was for immediate action after a TR4-positive result is shown, including delimiting farms, isolating the infected area, applying biosecurity measures and treatments, and destroying plants and weeds.
The second stage will take place after three or four weeks once plant material has totally dried, and involves burning plants and plant material.