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Taiwanese experts, Central American representatives from Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador meet to discuss banana disease, protection of banana industry’s future

Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2023. 10:51 am CST.

Photo Credit: Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Taiwanese experts and Central American representatives from Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador recently met to discuss how to fight Fusarium TR4 (Banana Wilt) disease and protect the banana industry’s future.

The Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF) has been conducting research on disease-resistant varieties at the Central Farm, and the results have attracted international attention.

The Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize reported that on November 20, delegations from Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador joined the Banana Growers Association (BGA) for intensive professional exchanges with Taiwanese experts. The BGA authorities are concerned about the threat of TR4 disease and are learning from Taiwan’s experience on how to deal with banana diseases, in particular the Banana Wilting disease.

“During the conference, Taiwanese experts provided detailed information on the timing of using disease-resistant varieties and shared the progress of testing conducted by ICDF at the Central Farm,” the Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize said in a statement.

“The goal of this collaboration is to ensure that the banana industry can withstand the impact of TR4 disease invasion and safeguard the livelihoods of local farmers.

In addition, delegation members visited local banana plantations to gain a deeper understanding of the operation and challenges of Belize’s banana business plan.

Belizean, Guatemala, and Salvadoran representatives met to discuss discuss how to fight Fusarium TR4 (Banana Wilt) disease and protect the banana industry’s future. – (Photo Credit: Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize)

“This exchange provides a valuable opportunity for Central American countries to learn from Taiwan’s expertise and experience in the field of agriculture and jointly address the challenges posed by TR4 disease.”

The visit results showed that the three disease-resistant varieties are growing well at Central Farm. These plants have about 8 to 10 leaves, matching the expected growth rate in the area, and their height is about 90 centimeters. More importantly, these plants have not shown serious diseases, indicating that everything is going well.

According to the Taiwan Technical Mission the conference and visits highlighted the need for international collaboration, especially to deal with agricultural diseases.

“The collaborative efforts of Taiwanese experts and representatives from Central American countries will contribute to ensuring the stable development of the banana industry, safeguarding the livelihoods of local farmers, and reducing the potential risks of TR4 disease to the global banana supply,” the Taiwan Technical Mission said.

“We look forward to future cooperation yielding even more results to keep the banana industry healthy and prosperous.”

The following photographs of Belizean, Guatemala, and Salvadoran representatives visiting Bana farms along with Taiwanese experts are courtesy of the Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize.

 

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