Banana: Less Profits for Plague Threat

Guatemalan producers report that their profit margins have been reduced because the threat of the Fusarium R4T pest has forced them to increase their spending on phytosanitary measures and crop biosecurity.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

For several weeks, Central American banana producers have been on alert, as in early August Colombian authorities confirmed the presence of Fusarium R4T, in a limited area of 175 hectares located in the department of Guajira.

Julio Mérida, executive director of the Association of Independent Banana Producers (Apib), told that "... The margins of the producers have been reduced in an evident way, because it is necessary to comply with local and international norms and certifications of innocuousness, besides measures of innocuousness and biosecurity so that it does not enter the fungus, the investment is every time greater to protect a culture that is important for the national economy."

See "Banana Plague: More Restrictions in the Region

Mérida added that "... in addition to the additional economic investment entails an implicit change of culture, in order to be able to handle the threat with the level of concern it deserves, but with specific actions to prevent it from entering."

2019 has not been the best year for the banana sector in Central America, as according to reports from CentalAmericaData in the first three months the countries of the region recorded $590 million in sales of bananas abroad, 6% less than reported in the same period of 2018.

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Following Panama's decision, the phytosanitary authorities in Guatemala and Costa Rica restricted the entry of banana and plantain-derived materials from any country because of the alert for the pest known as "wilt for fusarium.”

In the case of Guatemala, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA) reported that as part of the protection and preservation of the regional agricultural heritage, the Guatemalan population and national banana and plantain producers were informed that Guatemala had activated prevention and warning measures to prevent the threat of Fusarium Oxysporum race 4 disease.

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July 2019

Because of the suspected presence of the pest known as "fusarium wilt" in Colombia, authorities in Panama banned the entry of materials derived from plantains and bananas from any country.

The government reinforced quarantine control measures at airports, ports and borders, and categorically prohibited the entry into the country of any plantain or banana material suspected of carrying the fungus, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA).

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July 2019

Because of the suspicion that exists in Colombia about the presence of the pest known as "wilt by fusarium", an alert was issued in the countries of Central America.

The International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA), reported that because of the suspicion of the fungus in Colombia, the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) issued a resolution on June 25, which declares in phytosanitary quarantine the farm Don Marce, located in the municipality of Riohacha in the department of La Guajira, for the presence of symptoms associated with the pest Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Race 4 tropical.