ASBAMA Banana Forum

Challenges and opportunities for Colombia's banana sector

The ASBAMA Banana Forum, held on 29 and 30 November, was a great success. There were more than 500 participants, including leading academics and national and international researchers, producers, international marketers, technical assistants and more. The event touched on fundamental issues, such as prevention and/or treatment of diseases, water resources management, organic production, risks associated with climatic or market variables and some other relevant topics for the sector.

The highlight of the event was the announcement of Dr Anuar Escaf Mendoza, Executive President of ASBAMA, and Dr Felix Ospino Acevedo, Secretary of Economic Development (E), about the signing of a contract with the Governorate of Magdalena to provide technical assistance to 200 small producers of the Zona Bananera on agronomic management practices.

There was a conference entitled "Advances in the understanding and management of Fusarium wilt in bananas", and other seminars dealing with new technologies for agricultural use and new technologies for spraying. The advantages and disadvantages of the Food Security Modernization Law (FSMA) of the United States for Colombia were also discussed.

During these two days, other topics addressed included "The future of bananas: risks and threats of destructive and lethal diseases", "The cultivation of organic bananas: Challenges and opportunities", "Degradation of soils by salinity: impact on the banana production" and "Irrigation systems, productive potential and sustainability of the banana production".

The executive president, Anuar Escaf Mendoza, is quoted in the official press release saying that "the 2017 edition of the Banana Forum was carried out with the objective of promoting the exchange of knowledge and keeping attendees up to date on global trends in the banana industry." He said that the event makes it possible to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the growth and sustainable development of the Colombian banana industry.

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