Bolivia: Uncontrolled Fussarium fungus attack on banana crops

There is a fungus that affects two out of every 10 hectares of banana plantations in the tropics, according to data provided yesterday by the regional coordinator of the Phytosanitary Certification Program (PROCEF), Luis Milan. He said that it ensued from other crops such as coca, progresses rapidly and also attacks the papaya.

Yesterday, producer Carlos Meneses said about the Fussarium fungus that attacks banana crops in the Cochabamba tropics that, "it is quite resistant to several drugs so I decided to give up because there is no way to control it, it's that persistent."

According to estimates by Befrut's technician, Romer Mercado, losses caused by the fungus amount to about 1,700 plants per hectare a year. Some growers say the fungus first appeared seven or eight years ago, Milan said it's real outbreak happened a couple of years ago.

Mercado explained that the disease begins by rotting the plant's roots, which turns yellow and collapses. He said the proliferation could be controlled, but that it was the workers who were spreading the disease.

Milan coincided with Mercado saying that some workers carried the disease in their boots and tools and, since they worked from crop to crop, spread the disease. He added that this was the reason why the disease was spreading fast, why it had started in Chimore and was already found in Puerto Villaroel.

"This is reducing the productive area. We've tried to apply herbicides injections directly to the plant, we have also tried to rotate to other crops such as cassava, but the disease returns because the land is contaminated," said Mercado.


Source: Lostiempos.com


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