Fusarium TR4: Colombians say the fungus is “under control”

Fusarium TR4: Colombians say the fungus is “under control”

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Fusarium TR4: Colombians say the fungus is “under control”

Colombian phytosanitary authorities indicate through a press release that there are no new outbreaks of the fungus Fusarium TR4 in the country. 

A joint strategy between the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), the government and private sector, called "Enter clean and leave clean" was put in place in banana and plantain production sites.

With this, the country has successfully prevented further spreading. 

The fungus was identified in the Guajira and Magdalena regions between 2019 and 2021.

However, during 2023, two outbreaks appeared within the same area of the initial outbreak. This is caused by a normal biological contagion process of the fungus due to the rains in the area and the proximity of the farms. 

ICA and the sector continue to strictly monitor the phytosanitary conditions of the production sites involved in hopes of reassuring the banana export agribusiness.

According to the inspection, surveillance, monitoring and control actions, the behavior of the disease spread is within the foreseeable parameters.

Related articles: LatAm banana industry fighting Fusarium RT4

About 500 miles from Colombian shores, the Costa Rican banana sector is putting prevention measures in place.

Costa Rica’s Operational Technical Group (GTO), made up of officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) and the National Banana Corporation (Corbana), presented on Tuesday a work proposal to strengthen prevention.

The plan seeks to strengthen spraying arches at border points and disinfection of tourists' and visitors' footwear.

In addition, to prevent the pest from entering farms, biosecurity audits will be improved and attention will be paid to reports of suspicions, and ongoing training of the sector will be strengthened through talks, workshops and simulations.

The R4T fungus has an amazing dispersal capacity. Its spores can survive in the soil for up to thirty years and survive in infected material, even if it is dry. 

The pest is spread in several ways: when tools are used on a contaminated plant and then on other healthy plants, when the spores are spread by runoff or irrigation water in the plantation, or by soil present on materials such as shoes or tires of vehicles circulating within the crop.

It can lead to crop damage and even plant death.

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