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Venezuela bans agricultural imports from Colombia for fear of Fusarium

Venezuela's Institute of Environmental Health (INSAI) published a statement of transboundary phytosanitary risks in which they propose preventive measures to prevent the spread of the Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cuban tropical 4 race fungus or Foc R4T in the plantations of musaceae.

The measures include the temporary prohibition of the entry of propagation material of any plant species, or any means that transports soil or traces, as well as banning imports and import procedures for any agricultural product from Colombia.

They also suggested that the officials of INSAI and the Territorial Agricultural Committees intensify phytosanitary surveillance in the border states, Barinas, Trujillo, Falcon, Lara and Merida; deploying at least 40 agronomists and military personnel in border areas of Zulia, and increasing the number of technical personnel in ports and airports to inspect ships, aircraft, and luggage from Colombia.

Finally, they recommend fumigating the vehicles entering Venezuela with 20% quaternary ammonium or a similar disinfectant, and reinforcing the National Program for Prevention, Detection, Management, and Control.

Fusarium in Latin America
Colombia declared a national emergency when it detected the presence of the fungus, which can survive in the soil for 30 years, in 165 hectares of La Guajira. At the beginning of September, the Colombian Minister of Agriculture, Andres Valencia, met in Ecuador with representatives of the 15 main exporters in the world to show the measures that his country was taking to contain this pest.

Fusarium was identified in Malaysia and the Philippines three decades ago. The fungus that colonizes Cavendish banana plants cannot be controlled once the disease develops.



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