Experts will analyze how to fight fungus that threatens banana

Scientists will share the results and challenges pending in the fight against the Fusarium fungus, considered the worst enemy of banana crops in the world, at the end of May in the United States at the International Congress on Bananas.

Since the 1950s, when it destroyed thousands of hectares of the fruit in Central America, the fungus Fusarium is considered as the main enemy of the banana.
Since the 1950s, when it destroyed thousands of hectares of the fruit in Central America, the fungus Fusarium is considered as the main enemy of the banana.
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

The Congress, which will be held in Miami from May 28 to 31 and organized by the National Banana Corporation of Costa Rica (Corbana), will bring together scientists and businessmen who will analyze the threat posed by the fungus for banana plantations at the national level. world and will discuss ways to combat it.

According to the organizers of the event, since the fifties, when it destroyed thousands of hectares of the fruit in Central America, the fungus Fusarium is considered as the main enemy of the banana sector and today its race 4 is a threat to the world.

"The search for alternatives and the development of new cultivars could play a transcendental role in feeding millions of people," the organization of the international congress said in a statement.

A broad discussion of how to exclude, contain and combat Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc R4T) is part of the thematic axes that will be addressed during the International Banana Congress, one of the most important events for the banana industry.

"There are recent scientific results on the interaction between the soil substrate, the banana plant, the Fusarium, and its management, being able to share knowledge and draw conclusions for the benefit of the international banana sector is part of the contributions of this Congress," said the director. from the Research Center of Corbana, Jorge Sandoval.

The fungus Fusarium Oxysporum F. sp. cubense Race 4 Tropical develops, remains on the ground and spreads very easily; their propagules can adhere to the shoes, clothing, and tools of people who have been in a contaminated plantation. So far there is no chemical or biological method that manages to eliminate the race 4 fungus that is currently found in Africa, Asia and Oceania.

"The efforts of the scientific community and the phytosanitary authorities are focused on avoiding, at all costs, the entry of the pathogen to our continent (America) and in finding solutions to combat it," indicates the information of the Congress.

Data from the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands, cited by the organization of the Congress, point out that bananas are an essential food in the diet of nearly 400 million people in the world. Bananas are the eighth largest food crop in the world and fourth in the least developed countries, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Banana production occurs in 135 countries and in territories in tropical and subtropical zones. Currently, the international export trade of bananas amounts to more than 10 billion dollars, according to the FAO.

At the International Congress on Bananas, representatives of the banana industry will exchange knowledge about the latest findings in the sector in terms of research, market analysis, logistics and transport of fruit.

The agenda of the event includes keynote presentations, short lectures, debates, and round tables.

By Agency

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