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Emergency in Costa Rica to Prevent Entry of TR4 Plague

3.7.2020

The government of Costa Rica recently decreed a state of phytosanitary emergency to prevent the entry of the plague known as Fusarium Tropical Wilt Race 4 (FocR4T) that threatens production and jobs in the banana sector. The Decree reflects the government's effort and commitment to protect the agri-food sector and the thousands of people who work in this activity, said the President, Carlos Alvarado, at the signing of the ordinance, together with the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), Renato Alvarado.

The measure enables resources from the State Phytosanitary Service Emergency Fund to carry out preventive actions that protect productive activities and the more than 140 thousand direct and indirect jobs generated by the musaceae sector (bananas and plantains), given the risk of the FocR4T from entering the country. The decree was signed at the National Banana Corporation (Corbana), which also allows the use of resources from that same fund to combat new or existing pests that may cause damage to national agriculture such as in this case.

Corbana manager Jorge Sauma said that in addition to a country effort, they need international support, as they will try to keep working for the benefit of the banana industry and its workers. After indicating that this pathogen is not yet present in the country, the minister explained that the funds will be allocated according to investment plans, adjusted during the emergency period, and intended to intensify continuous surveillance activities in banana plantations. He added: “We will strengthen the training and dissemination plan for technicians, producers and the general public, on the symptoms of the pest, biosecurity measures and prevention activities to avoid its introduction and possible dispersal in the national territory.”

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