The Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Race 4 Tropical fungus constitutes a global threat in the cultivation of bananas. It develops in the ground, where it remains for a long time and spreads very easily. So far there is no chemical or biological method to eliminate the race 4 fungus, which is currently found in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
The International Banana Congress, which will be held in Miami from May 28 to the 31 and is organized by the National Banana Corporation of Costa Rica (CORBANA), will present scientific advances on Fusarium and analyze the problem to try to find a solution.
Since the 1950s, when this fungus destroyed thousands of hectares of the fruit in Central America, the Fusarium is considered the main enemy of the banana sector and today its race 4 is a threat to the world.
Bananas are a staple food in the diet of some 400 million people in the world, as well as an important part of the economy of many producing countries, so the search for alternatives and the development of new banana varieties could play a transcendental role.
A broad discussion of how to exclude, contain, and combat Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc R4T) is part of the thematic axes that will be addressed during the International Banana Congress, one of the most important events for the banana industry.
"The efforts of the scientific community and the phytosanitary authorities are focused on avoiding, at all costs, the entry of the pathogen to our continent [America] and in finding solutions to combat it," states the information of the congress.
Banana is the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth in the least developed countries, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 135 countries produce bananas, which are grown in tropical and subtropical territories. Currently, the international export trade of bananas amounts to more than 10 billion dollars, according to the FAO.
At the International Congress on Bananas, representatives of the banana industry will exchange knowledge about the latest findings in the sector in terms of research, market analysis, logistics, and the transportation of fruit.