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Colombian biosecurity expert updates plan to combat banana disease, Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (Foc TR4)

Posted: Monday, February 12, 2024. 6:47 pm CST.

Dr. Catalina Quintero leads 2-day workshop on banana disease contingency plan – Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Dr. Catalina Quintero, a Colombian biosecurity expert, is leading a two-day workshop with banana industry stakeholders on the updated contingency response plan against Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (Foc TR4), a fungal disease that is a threat to the banana industry.

Quintero has been contracted by Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) and International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA), to improve the contingency response plan for Foc TR4 in Belize and Guatemala.

The meeting is being attended by officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security (MAFSE), the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the Banana Growers Association, ICDF, and OIRSA.

“The first day focuses on sharing experiences and familiarizing participants with the updated plan,” MAFSE said in a press release.

“(Tuesday’s) agenda includes a field visit to the demonstration plot in Central Farm, where a resistant variety is undergoing trial. This will be followed by a visit to the diagnostic lab of BAHA, providing participants with firsthand insight into BAHA’s diagnostic response capabilities in the event of a suspected Foc TR4 case.”

MAFSE said the collaboration aims to protect the banana sector and reduce the impact of Foc TR4 on regional agriculture.

Participants on 2-day workshop on banana disease contingency plan – Photo Credit: MAFSE


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