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Ecuador - Diseases in crops increase due to misuse of agrochemicals

Farmers have had to fight against diseases that affect different crops, such as Palm and Cogollo rot. Plantain, another of the products harvested in the province, has also been affected.

Juan Carlos Robles, an Innovation Technician of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in the province, said they were carrying out different trainings to improve the plantation and help production with organic fertilizers and better practices.

He said there were many plagues in El Carmen and Santo Domingo, such as the sigatoka that causes the leaves to fall or turn black, which lowers production. The province of Tsachila is also affected by the moko bacterium, but with low incidence.

“The moko is like a type of AIDS for plants. Producers must restrict an area of about 7 meters around the affected plant and not use it, as the bacteria can be transmitted from one plantation to another through the soil in the producer’s boots or through their tools,” he said.

Geovanny Armijos, a producer that has worked the fields for more than 30 years, produces plantains, among other products. He said that the guineo and the maqueño are the varieties most affected by the sigatoka and that he still hadn’t been affected by the moko. However, he added, he had heard it could end his plantations, so he takes the necessary security measures not to be affected by it, such as not letting strange people enter his orchards.

According to Robles, producers have become aware of this issue.

Wellington Ganchozo, a technician of the experimental station of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (Iniap) Santo Domingo, said the diseases increased due to the bad use of agrochemicals, aggressive pruning and, in general, the bad management of the plantations. He said the moko disease had arrived to this land about 4 years ago and that producers were taking the necessary measures to avoid being affected by it.

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