Yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture of Costa Rica, Renato Alvarado, denied the presence of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 (Foc R4T) in Costa Rica. He also said that last Friday, the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) had requested the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) correct statement DA-2021-06, dated May 20, 2021, which included Costa Rica in a list of countries affected by the presence of Fusarium Raza 4 Tropical.
"The SFE, the institution that declares the prevalence and permanence of diseases in the country, has not issued any statement declaring this disease to be in the country," said Alvarado in a video released on social networks.
Costa Rica has been doing work for two years to prevent and contain the entry into the country of Foc R4T, he said. We have developed prevention actions on farms, as well as monitoring in ports and airports to avoid, under any circumstance, the entry of this disease, he added.
The minister considered that the inclusion of Costa Rica in the list of countries affected by the so-called banana fungus had been a mistake.
The executive director of the SFE, Fernando Araya, said: "We currently have phytosanitary measures in place to prevent the introduction of the fungus, which were established as a result of the pest risk analysis."
In addition, Costa Rica has the diagnostic capacity to detect R4T Foc and field specialists in symptom recognition, he added. "Listing Costa Rica in the group of countries affected by the presence of Foc R4T can cause us serious problems with our commercial partners, who may apply prohibitions and additional import requirements," Araya stated.