The Inter-American Institute of Cooperation for Agriculture (IICA) stated that the Ministers and high Agriculture authorities of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru had endorsed the efforts carried out by the Global Alliance against Fusarium TR4 to coordinate regional actions to combat and prevent this pest.
This incurable disease threatens global banana production and the food and nutritional security of millions of families, especially those people that depend on this crop in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Fusarium TR4 is the greatest threat to the banana industry, a highly commercially valuable crop and a vital food source for more than 400 million people in the world. The strength of the alliance is that it combines the efforts of the academia, the private sector, and research organizations to fight this disease,” stated the Director-General of IICA, Manuel Otero.
IICA, which serves as the secretariat of the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance, stressed that it strongly supports this initiative, as it is a sensitive issue that cuts across political, social, cultural, and economic aspects of the countries of the Americas. So far, this pest has been detected on some farms in Colombia and Peru, so the authorities are working to prevent its expansion.
According to experts, the joint work between the Andean countries and the Global Alliance against Fusarium TR4 will benefit other regions of Latin America and the Caribbean eventually helping them to prevent and control the appearance of this fungus in their plantations.
The initiative, whose mission is to support the banana sector and its actors in the fight against Fusarium TR4 by developing knowledge, technology, and mechanisms to find a definitive scientific solution, was formally constituted at the beginning of 2021, although it began its coordination efforts in 2020. Its actions are based on three fronts: prevention and training, genetic improvement, and control methods.
As short-term objectives, the group seeks partners to develop strategic alliances.