The Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4) fungus has been detected in a banana plantation in north-western Peru, according to local media sources. Josué Carrasco, general director of Peru’s Plant Health of the National Agrarian Health Service (Senasa), said that the Sullana province has been contained to prevent the spread of the fungus.
Carrasco said that it is necessary to implement restrictive measures to prevent the spread of the soil-borne fungus as it has no cure and can have a severe impact on national production, which totals around 170,000 hectares between bananas and plantains. Around 17,000 hectares of organic banana crops in the Piura region are at risk from the spread of Fusarium TR4.
The causes of the arrival of the TR4 fungus into Piura are unknown. Senasa said imports of illegal exotic plants or the arrivals of foreign travellers have not been ruled out. Senasa reported that Piura is currently the only region in the country where the presence of Fusarium TR4 has been reported and stressed that it is being constantly monitored.
As part of the fight to contain the fungus, Senasa has strengthened control efforts at six checkpoints that are installed throughout the banana and plantain-producing areas of the Sullana province. These checkpoints have been able to disinfect almost 23,000 vehicles as well as inspect over 2,300 vehicles to detect any movement of vegetative material which is prohibited.