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The ICA leads a campaign to eradicate the disease in Magdalena

Colombia: The eradication of the Moko disease in the banana production has a cost of $ 300,000 per hectare

The Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) is carrying out an eradication campaign of the disease known as Moko in various banana and plantain crops for local consumption in the municipalities of Cienega and the Banana Zone, in the department of Magdalena.

The Institute has intervened more than 787 hectares in these areas, where they have identified and diagnosed 4,123 outbreak sites and eradicated at least 160 acres to date. The institute has also trained farmers on preventive management of the disease, making them aware of the care they must have when transporting plant material from one place to another.

As confirmed by the Branch Manager of the ICA in Magdalena, Jorge Mejia, "the Institute's actions have prevented the Moko from spreading into healthy areas, and we've protected the crops of bananas for export where, if there were confirmation of the existence an outbreak of this disease, eradication processes, quarantine and recovery of the affected area would have a cost of approximately $300,000 per hectare."

The presence of the Moko in this part of Magdalena is due to environmental conditions, but mainly to the poor agronomic management that farmers take of their crops and to the use of uncertified seeds that are contaminated by the disease, among other aspects. In response to this situation, the ICA made a strong call for producers to take responsibility for the health management of their crops.

During the past year 320 hectares of banana affected by Moko were eradicated in 371 estates in the municipalities of Cienega, Fundacion, Aracataca, El Reten, Santa Marta and the Banana Zone; an area that accounts for 90% of banana production department and gathers about 1,100 small producers.

The Moko is a disease caused by the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum, which attacks the plantain and banana, among other species. The affected plants are completely lost and producers are affected by the high management costs to eradicate the disease as well as the time lost where they can't grow anything in the affected areas.

Source: ICA

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