National emergency declared as Colombia confirms the presence of TR4 banana disease

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Tropical Race 4 (TR4) has been officially confirmed in Colombia (Photo: Arminas Raudys, Pexels)

The global banana industry is facing a new major threat. On the 8th August, the Colombian Agricultural Institute announced that it has confirmed the presence of a strain of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, known as Tropical Race 4 (TR4) in the northern region of the country. Since then the Colombian government has issued a national state of emergency, destroying crops and quarantining plantations in an attempt to postpone the spread of the fungus until a suitable preventative plan can be implemented.

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