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7th International Banana Congress

Benefits of genetic improvement of bananas

The 7th International Banana Congress, to be held in Miami between 26 and 29 September, will analyse the benefits of a genetic improvement procedure that could correct fruit defects and make the plants more resistant, as reported by the organizers.

Mr Orlando Arguello, an expert from the University of Texas, will be in charge of outlining the applications of the method known as CRISPR-CAS, as was explained by the Costa Rican Banana Corporation (Corbana) of Costa Rica, organizer of the event, in a statement.

"Arguello will present the results of the research in which, by using a method known as CRISPR-CAS for the editing of banana genes, it could be possible to correct its defects, and thus produce plants that are more resistant to pests and diseases," the report said.

The specialist will show the possibilities of a technique that consists in the "turning off" of certain genes that cause problems and the "switching on" of others that are helpful for the plant.

The 7th International Banana Congress is a meeting point for the international community devoted to banana production and serves to share information in all areas regarding the current state and future of the banana industry.

Another issue to be discussed at the event is the change in the rules of association agreements that 96% of Latin American banana producers maintain with the European Union (EU).

Attendees will study the effects of the EU's decision to liberalise the Latin American banana import model by 2020.

Once the market is liberalised, exporting countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua and Honduras will be able to ship as many bananas as they want, with practically no restrictions besides the demand.

The high level panel of the congress will include Ronald Saborío, Costa Rican ex-ambassador to the WTO, and Roberto Echandi, former Costa Rican ambassador to Brussels and former negotiator for the EU Association Agreement.

Source: EFE

Publication date: 9/11/2017


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