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A satellite monitoring pilot project for the detection of fungi in banana plantations is being implemented in Honduras

The National Agri-Food Health and Safety Service (SENASA), attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (sag), participated in the implementation of a satellite surveillance phytosanitary pilot project for the detection of diseases in plantations, such as the wilting of Musaceae caused by the Fusarium Oxysporum Cubense, Foc R4T, fungus.

The International Regional Agency for Agricultural Health (OIRSA), and the Technical Mission of Taiwan, coordinated the activity that lasted 2 days and which included training and practice in the field where satellite monitoring points were established using Taiwan's innovative technology.

"This satellite surveillance is not only for Foc R4T, which is the main threat to plantations but for all banana pests. It will help strengthen the diagnostic capacity of our laboratories, which the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (sag) has through SENASA," stated Sami Caceres, head of the Department of Diagnosis and Phytosanitary Surveillance in the Technical Directorate of Plant Health.

This work will include training days and drills for the detection of Foc R4T, which will allow producers to know the correct process for the collection of samples that they will then send to the official laboratory.

Miguel Zheng, from the Technical Mission of Taiwan, recalled that his country has been living with this disease for more than 60 years and shared his knowledge about it. "We want to socialize the lines of action and the regional project together with SENASA and OIRSA to strengthen efforts in Honduras."

“State-of-the-art technology has been made available to monitor the crops, which will help detect any anomaly that arises in a timely manner so producers can make their decisions in a timely manner,” Zheng said.

Javier Velasquez, Plant Health Officer of OIRSA, thanked the Technical Mission of China Taiwan for their support and for this new innovation, which will alert producers about certain phytosanitary problems so they can act in a timely manner. "I think the presence and involvement of the production sector and the Government in this initiative, which started in Guatemala, Belize, and now Honduras is of paramount importance."



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