The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock made official the arrival of banana plants of the Cavendish somaclonal variety, called Formosana GCTCV-218 , a species that is tolerant to Fusarium Race 4 Tropical (Foc R4T), a fungus that has not yet been detected in Ecuador.
This importation of 4,620 plants, explained Minister Pedro Álava, through a press conference, is part of the prevention policies that the country executes in the event of the arrival of the disease. With this, he explained, there would be an alternative in pest management as a response to a possible entry.
The importation of the same takes place after having complied with the current legal regulations of the Organic Law of Agricultural Health (LOSA) and the Organic Law of Agrobiodiversity, seeds and promotion of Sustainable Agriculture (LOASFAS). The Minister explained that the technical team of the Phytosanitary and Zoosanitary Regulation and Control Agency (Agrocalidad) carried out the documentary verification and phytosanitary inspection of the shipment, to guarantee compliance with the phytosanitary import requirements of in vitro plants originating in South Africa.
He added that all shipments must comply with a period of eight weeks of post-entry quarantine and in case of pest detection, the material must comply with the established legal procedure. The National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIAP), for its part, will carry out the validation of the material through the agronomic, adaptability and yield evaluation process, which will be detailed in the material evaluation service contract issued by INIAP.
If it has positive results on adaptability, this variety “will support banana producers in the country.” According to reports from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, until 2020 the country had an area of 185,000 hectares of bananas in production.