Banana industry fighting Fusarium RT4

LatAm banana industry fighting Fusarium RT4

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LatAm banana industry fighting Fusarium RT4

The Fusarium RT4 fungus has a confirmed presence in 20 Latin American countries, with the sector’s main players calling it “the industry’s biggest challenge”.

It has been identified in farms in Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, prompting authorities to develop strategies to prevent its expansion and mitigate damages.

Earlier this month, producers and researchers addressed these concerns at the IX International Banana Congress, organized by the National Banana Corporation of Costa Rica (CORBANA)

"We are learning about the progress in the work of three major alliances to combat Fusarium RT4 led by OIRSA (El Salvador’s sanitary authority), the World Banana Forum and the IICA-Bayer alliance. 

In addition, participants in this event will have access to the five main initiatives that are being developed in the world in the search for resistant varieties," said CORBANA’s general manager Jorge Sauma.

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In addition to controlling the fungus, the banana sector is also facing challenges in production, marketing and changes in consumer trends.

"The banana industry has great challenges to remain competitive and a generator of employment and foreign exchange for producing countries, among them I emphasize: anticipate new environmental regulations in the destination markets and that respond to changes in tastes and consumer preferences and of course, be prepared for global issues such as climate change," International trade expert Victor Umaña said.

During the conference, the different strategies being developed for the management, control and mitigation of Fusarium RT4 in Latin America were also analyzed.

The global banana sector represents food security for more than 500 million people in the world, Sauma said. 

"Therefore, this fruit has a great impact on the lives of thousands of people and in the Latin American region mainly, since we are the producers of 79% of the fruit," he added.

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