Colombian authorities have officially confirmed that the banana disease Fusarium Wilt tropical race IV (TR4) is present in the country.
Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) general manager Deyanira Barrero León confirmed the news during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
"We are declaring a national emergency, despite the disease [only] being confirmed in La Guajira, in order to speed up the process of controlling the disease," Barrero León said.
She emphasized that banana exports would continue, as the fruit can still be consumed normally and TR4 - also known as Panama disease tropical race IV - does not affect human health.
ICA is working together with banana associations Augura and ASBAMA to ensure the disease can be detected as quickly as possible if it spreads.
"Declararemos la emergencia nacional, a pesar que se ha confirmado la presencia de la enfermedad en La Guajira, con el fin de agilizar los procesos de contención de la enfermedad", manifestó @deyabarrerol, gerente general del @ICACOLOMBIA. pic.twitter.com/Xmo1Mq8xnU
— ICA Colombia (@ICACOLOMBIA) August 8, 2019