An international research team has confirmed the presence of Tropical Race 4 (TR4, Fusarium odoratissimum, previously known as Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense) in Cavendish banana plants in Colombia. TR4 is the cause of Fusarium wilt, also known as Panama disease in many banana varieties. The findings are published in an open-source article in the journal Plant Disease.
On suspicion of the presence of the Fusarium fungus race 4 in Colombia, the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), the Association of Banana Growers of Magdalena and La Guajira (Asbama) and the Association of Banana Growers of Colomia (Augura), have strengthened biosecurity measures and developed control and prevention efforts.
The 30% decrease in plantain production due to the rains and low temperatures in the department of Quindio has led to a rise in prices. According to Asohofrucol, there are about 23,000 hectares registered in Quindío, 9,000 of which are monocultures and the remaining associated, as almost all coffee growers in the department also grow plantains.
The Huanglongbing disease (HLB) of bacterial origin affects the different types of citrus fruits, such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, and tangerines. After affecting the leaves and fruits, the sick tree begins to lose its vitality and then dies. The HLB disease has affected citrus fruits from all over the world, spreading at a high speed from China, where it was discovered.
The extreme drought in the Colombian province of Cordoba has had devastating effects on plantain crops, damaging 60% of the plantations. In fact, 15,000 hectares have been affected by the lack of water, compared to the 25,000 planted this year, according to sources in Cordoba's plantain productive chain.
Mango producers from Cienaga, Magdalena, have left the mangoes they had already harvested abandoned in the fields. The overproduction of this fruit has caused a saturation of the markets and prices have collapsed. As a result, many producers in the region have decided to abandon the fruit in the fields, even if it had already been harvested, due to the impossibility of obtaining profits.
In the first quarter of 2019, the El Niño weather phenomenon could reduce rainfall in Colombia by 80 percent, according to the country’s environment minister. This would cause major water shortages and help spread forest fires. El Niño is a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific. In Colombia it is associated with crop damage and flash floods, while in other countries it can cause intense rain.
Nespresso has partnered with Blue Marble Microinsurance — a startup with the mission of providing socially impactful, commercially viable insurance protection to the underserved and incorporated by nine insurance entities — to launch a pilot weather index insurance program for smallholder coffee farmers in Colombia. There is an immediate need to establish innovative solutions that help to ensure coffee producers have long-term security in the face of climate change.
Blue Marble Microinsurance, an association of eight firms aiming to improve the socio-economic environment of the underprivileged through commercially viable insurance solutions, has partnered with Nestle Nespresso SA to create a pilot crop insurance program for smallholder coffee farmers in Colombia.
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