FAO Provides Technical Assistance on the Presence of TR4 in Venezuela


The FAO diplomatic mission in Venezuela provides technical assistance on the presence of the Fusarium fungus in banana and plantain crops. The action, which will be carried out until March 10, aims to enrich knowledge to combat pests that affect food production in Venezuela. 

"We support the implementation of the national action plan for the response and prevention of Fusarium in the country, to strengthen institutional and producer capacities in biosafety, surveillance, and diagnostic measures," said the FAO representative in Venezuela. 

In February, the National Institute of Integral Agricultural Health (INSAI) declared a national emergency in the country due to the Fusarium fungus (ROC TR4), which threatens to deteriorate banana plantations. 

The productive states are on alert due to the confirmed presence of the fungus in Aragua, Carabobo, and Cojedes, according to results that yielded molecular phytosanitary analyses carried out in virology and plant biotechnology laboratories of the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC). 

As part of the alert, the institute attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Land prohibited the transfer of these products in affected areas and the mobilization of all components of this type of plant, such as roots, rhizomes, pseudostems, petioles, peduncles, and leaves. 

According to the Foundation for the Improvement of Plantains in Venezuela (Fumplaven), producers must take the necessary precautions against the possibility that the fungus "exterminates" musáceas plantations. In this sense, it also recommends "not making visits to the areas of Aragua, Carabobo, and Cojedes, nor allowing access to their plantations." 

It also calls for taking biosecurity measures, such as disinfecting vehicles with quaternary ammonium, disinfecting workers' footwear, and not moving plant material in these areas. 

Suppose a producer observes his plants with vascular wilting, root rot, foot and stem rot, or leaf lesions. In that case, Fumplaven recommends contacting Insai or the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) professionals.