The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Ecuador (MAG), together with the Animal Plant Health Regulation and Control Agency (Agrocalidad), will implement a software that will allow the sharing of phytosanitary data on banana cultivation in the country as of 2020, as part of the country's strategy to prevent the entry of the Fusarium race 4 pest into Ecuador.
The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Xavier Lazo, stated that the SaniBanano platform will allow them to cross reference the information regarding the control carried out in farms and the phytosanitary alerts there are for the disease. The software will also provide another series of services for farmers.
Minister Lazo also said that Ecuador was about to confirm its adherence to the Regional International Agency for Agricultural Health (Oirsa) and the Race 4 command of that entity, based in El Salvador. The member states are Mexico, Belize (incorporated in 1996), Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic (incorporated in 2003).
Agrocalidad's strategy to contain the banana plague outside the country also includes research. According to Lazo, they would soon start to research possible varieties that are resistant to Fusarium.
Banana exports account for 2% of Ecuador's general GDP and approximately 35% of its agricultural GDP. There are 170,809 hectares of banana, 125,267 of plantain, and 3,742 hectares of orito banana registered in the country. In addition, there are around 16,000 producers and 200 exporters of bananas in the country. According to data from the MAG, Ecuador exported 6.5 million tons of bananas worth nearly 3 billion dollars to 87 destinations last year.