Better soil quality will help prevent diseases in banana plantations

"We have launched a new project: a program to improve productivity. We strive to implement better production practices, and these cleaner production techniques result in a more ecological, almost organic production, but the banana production is still conventional. Some of the practices included in the program are the rational use of irrigation water and a reduction of the carbon footprint. The program aims to improve the health of the soil, because the higher the quality, the more resistant it will be to diseases. It is a good way to prevent the spread of the Panama disease," explains José Rafael Madriz, CLAC's banana production and market coordinator, based in Costa Rica.

He points out that these matters have a significant impact on the banana production. "The impact of reducing the carbon footprint and improving the use of water is noticeable in the fields. Now we just have to document these improvements to show that, while the production is not organic, these bananas are produced much more sustainably, using less water and limiting the use of pesticides."

CLAC, the Latin American and Caribbean Coordinator of Small Producers and Fair Trade Workers, is co-owner of the Fairtrade International system and the network that represents all Fairtrade-certified organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as other fair trade organizations. Its mission is to represent and promote the interests, empowerment and development of its members and their communities. At present, CLAC has more than 700 member organizations in 24 countries on the continent.

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