The Andean Community’s (CAN) Andean Technical Committee for Agricultural Health held an emergency meeting to coordinate actions to prevent the spread of the Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 pest in the region after Peru declared a national phytosanitary on April 11 because they had detected the presence of this pest on a farm in Piura.
Banana and plantain production is an important economic activity in the CAN countries. Colombia and Ecuador are two of the largest banana exporters in the world. Peru has managed to position itself in European markets thanks to its organic production and successful cases of fair trade implementation, and Bolivia supplies countries in the southern cone.
At the meeting, the National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (Senasa) reported on the current situation of Fusarium R4T in the country, the actions they have carried out to date, which include diagnosis, quarantine of the affected property, the intervention of the plants, and activities related to the national containment plan.
The representative of Peru said they were intensifying the surveillance, quarantine, phytosanitary actions, and control of the pest throughout the country, prioritizing the detection area, to contain and prevent its spread.
Currently, the CAN countries are executing the ‘Regional standardization of the diagnosis of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4’ project, approved by Decision 832, to reinforce diagnostic actions, phytosanitary surveillance, and risk communication actions.
In this framework, the four countries agreed to share the information of their National Plant Protection Organizations, their contingency plans, updated manuals, and other technical documents that are the product of their own experiences and that may be useful for the development of joint activities.
In the coming weeks, there will be a virtual training session on biosafety and its implementation in productive farms. In addition, the CAN General Secretariat was tasked with creating a technical table, inviting the IICA, FAO, and Oirsa to it, and activating the projects’ risk and diffusion communication component. The Secretariat was also tasked with managing a request for technical cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).