Since he met his nomination to the Nobel Prize in Physiology for the control of the black sigatoka with water and ozone, Ángel Llerena has called it all over the world. The friends he never sees, the press, the avid banana growers of information, scientists and even President Lenin Moreno.
A new routine for this scientist from Guayaquil, simple, who has the cure for the most costly disease, for banana cancer, which takes 400 million dollars out of the pocket of Ecuadorian producers every year.
Yesterday, Diario EXPRESO toured the Comarcara farm, in Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno (Jujan, Guayas), where for 5 years it has tested ozone mixed with water that rains over two hectares of bananas instead of fungicides mixed with oils or fixatives. It is not the only farm. It has four others where the system with which now only controls the black sigatoka also applies, but which already has in sight the race 4 of the terrifying evil of Panama that devastated the gross michel.
Ángel Llerena became famous in the international scientific community after his conferences around the world, one of them at the University of Alcalá de Henares, in Madrid, where he was observed by the Agrarian University of Havana ‘Fructuoso Rodríguez Pérez’, who He invited Cuba.
It was said university that sends its candidacy to the Norwegian Nobel Committee that awards the Nobel Prize, where accredited universities with a history of research can apply.
Today the results are documented and patented: zero use of fungicides and 40% reduction in costs due to sigatoka control, 25% higher productivity (ozone also makes soil nutrients available to the plant) and zero contamination To the environment.
In the plantation that the engineer Marcos Vergara gave him in Jujan to do the tests he can compare the results with another lot in the same company where conventional methods are used. But not only Vergara supported him. The idea was born after his friend Cristóbal Aguirre broke with his company. He sold water with ozone, but so much competition came out that he broke up and left the teams alone.
One day he says to me, Angel, what can we do with the equipment, can we use it in agriculture? Aguirre is now his assistant researcher and together with him began to test the system in the cultivation of soy by successfully controlling the potospore. But the fungicides used in this legume are nothing compared to the 5 million liters of fungicides used in bananas.
Already in the banana plantations a room was created where they mix water with ozone that they expel by pipe two meters higher than a plant with the sprinkler system that cause a rain effect, similar to the fumigation of a plane.
The cost is around $ 500 per hectare compared to 800 or 1,000 that is spent on aerial fumigations on average, although in more humid areas, with more incidence of fungi, this cost can double or triple.
On the list
Nominees 3 of Ecuador
Carlos Tobar, creator of the doctrine of democratic legitimacy, was nominated in 1909 to the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1935 Víctor Manuel Rendón was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Galo Plaza Lasso, former president of the Republic, was also nominated (Paz) in 1965.
The blocks, in sight
From the first year that the trial began, it was always “blocked” by companies that have an interest (they produce or sell fungicides). “In the banana forums that have invited us, they have blocked us with tricks, because this is going to take us out of the market.”
Ángel Llerena isolated from race fungus Panama 1 and applied ozone at the laboratory level: the result is the same, eliminates the fungus. The University of Thailand, took him for three weeks, last month, to start working with race 4 that affects Asia. (I)