Both the control and monitoring of pests and diseases in crops are on the list of activities that have been affected by the strike and blockades in Colombia. As reported by the general manager in charge of the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), Alfonso Araujo, the regions that register the greatest delays in these processes are those of the southwest, specifically Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Nariño, Huila and Tolima.
Some of the diseases that the agency currently keeps under control are Fusarium R4T and HLB. It is also in charge of control and prevention of locust and fruit fly pests.
Alvaro Palacio, president of Asohofrucol, warned of the current threat to crops, especially fruit trees, as they could be easily affected by fruit flies, given the lack of monitoring and control.
This pest, which is present in crops such as blackberries, mangoes or melons, among others, has small producers in check. Palacio said that the consequences could be very severe, since fruit exports depend directly on the safety of the crops, and certain quality standards must be met, and that becomes impossible with pests like this.
Palacio stated that export volumes could fall in the long term, not only because of the lack of control and surveillance, but also because of the lack of inputs such as pesticides, most of which are imported and have not been able to reach the country.