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Dark Sigatoka threatens banana cultivation in Colombia

The National Federation of Banana Farmers (Federación Nacional de Cultivadores de Plátano - Fedeplátano) said at the end of 2011 that the winter wave would leave "a wicked heritage" that would show up in the future: sigatoka and moko, two lethal diseases for banana cultivation.

Now, the first one has shown up and it's quite intense.

According to a note from the Agro-Livestock Insitute in Colombia (Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario - ICA) with the help of Inagru and Augura, started a health plan action in 23,000 hectares of banana harvested in Urabá.

It's about controlling the disease know as Dark Sigatoka, that grew as a consequence of the winter wave.

According to Carlos Alberto Soto, sub-manager of Vegetable Protection at ICA, this disease diminishes banana production and damages incomes of 6,458 small and medium producers that support themselves by growing bananas in this area of the country.

"A defective control of Sigatoka could risk the permanence of Colombia in the international markets as a good quality banana exporters", he added.
Actions are directed to protect the production in this area, where there are 38,000 harvested hectares.

Source: Vanguardia

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