Banana: More Measures for Pest Threats

Costa Rica has updated the mandatory phytosanitary measures for imports, while in Guatemala protocols are being implemented in the fields where the fruit is harvested, because of the threat of Fusarium R4T disease.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Central American countries are still on alert for the outbreak of the fungus, as in early August Colombian authorities confirmed the presence of Fusarium R4T, in a limited area of 175 hectares in the department of Guajira.

Faced with these threats, the Costa Rican State Phytosanitary System (SFE) decided to update the mandatory measures for the import of articles that may be a route of transmission of the fungus.

Elobservador.cr notes that "... the ELA will redouble its efforts in monitoring the entry of plants, fresh and dried parts of plants of the Musaceae family, as well as soil and organic growth media. Also, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) asked those who enter the country, either by air or land, not to enter seeds or plants.

You may be interested in "Banana: Exports up to September 2018

The article adds that "... To the list of products that the authorities ask to avoid are souvenirs or objects made of plant fibers, such as hats, baskets or handbags."

Guatemala is also acting to prevent the entry of the fungus. Prensalibre.com explains that "... The first simulation to evaluate the capacity to respond, manage and control possible outbreaks of Fusarium was conducted in a farm in Los Amates, Izabal, which is one of the places where fruit is planted mainly for export.

"... On the South Coast side, simulations were also scheduled between the Maga and the producers in the area of Tiquisate, Escuintla, for September. Izabal's port authorities confirmed that the fumigation of containers in the ports was also reinforced and the phytosanitary controls of all vegetable merchandise subject to import were updated," the article states.

See article from Elobservador.com "País redobla esfuerzos para impedir entrada de fungo que afecta cultivos de banano" and from Prensalibre.com "Fusarium R4T: Estas medidas aplica Guatemala en las costas para proteger el banano del destructivo hongo".

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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.

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