The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Bayer, and the fruit industry have teamed up to implement a global strategy of actions to address the Fusarium R4T, a plague that affects the production and trade of bananas, the fourth largest crop in the world. The strategy was defined in a meeting in Germany, which included the participation of the IICA, and will be based on prevention and training, reproduction and genetics, and control mechanisms.
“IICA will be in charge of coordinating a global program with actions adapted for each country, region, and continent. These actions will be supported by donors that guarantee we have the resources to fight this plague,” stated Gabriel Rodriguez, IICA's Project Manager.
Prevention and training will focus on strengthening the relationship between the industry, non-governmental organizations, buyers, and extension officers. A teaching model will also be developed that will implement pilot programs in each region where the banana disease is present.
In the field of reproduction and genetics, reproduction processes and programs will be evaluated to improve their efficiency. Researchers will be supplied with germplasm to conduct experiments and disseminate their findings among stakeholders.
In the third work area, related to the control mechanisms, trials will be carried out with Bayer products to prove their effectiveness. The relationships between nutrition, soil, and the effectiveness of the control agents will be explored. In addition, researchers will develop rapid application tools to evaluate the presence of the fungus in banana plantations.
IICA, based in Costa Rica, explained that there is currently no viable soil or plant chemical, biological, or genetic treatment that is totally effective to control or cure Fusarium wilting in the field. The only preventive measure available today is to quarantine the affected areas to prevent the fungus from spreading from infected areas to disease-free areas.
Source: Efe/ eldiario.es