Ecuador: Pear producers losses due to disease

Farmers in the sector of Obraje, located in Canton Ambato, are concerned about the appearance of a bacterium that is killing their crops of pears. Producers have had new expenses trying to fight this disease and giving the plant the nutrients they need; however, producers don't see an improvement in their trees.
Cesar Pacha, a farmer of the sector, says that this bacterium causes sunburn on the flower, stagnating its growth and normal development, which has caused an economic loss of about 80% in each crop.

Pacha is worried because the fruit should be ready between January and February next year, but the trees are totally contaminated. Thus, he has requested the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (Magap) to assist him by donating specific fertilizers and nutrients to eliminate the disease.

Fabian Valencia, director of Magap, says that this fruit was being affected by the presence of a virus that is consuming the plantations in the sectors of Obraje, Huachi Grande, and Pinllo. This alert led specialists to analyze the possibility that this was a nutritional problem. If that were the case, the Magap will undertake a plan of support for farmers, consisting of a pest control using fumigants and the right nutrients, plus a technical assistance so that each farmer has the ability to prevent and eliminate this sickness.

Technical Explanation
Jorge Benavides, a commercial technical adviser from del Huerto, said this was due to the spread of the fire blight bacteria, which adheres to bees and other insects that are attracted by the sweet smell of bacteria; in time of flowering, infected flowers turn brown or black and die.

Benavides said that this should be treated in a preventive manner because once a tree is infected it will spread to other fruits and it'll be more difficult to control the disease.

The main recommendation producers have been given is to prune the branches of the infected trees 30 cm away from the concentration of the bacteria once the flowers start to turn dark.

Source: La Hora /

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