The WBF and its TR4 Task Force brought the dialogue on Fusarium TR4 to Fruit Logistica 2020


On February 6, 2020 The World Banana Forum (WBF) carried out a special panel on “Fusarium TR4, the global collaboration that helps mitigate its impacts and prevent its spread” at Fruit Logistica at The CityCube Berlin, Germany. 

The 1. 5 hour panel facilitated by Mr Pascal Liu, Coordinator of the World Banana Forum at FAO, aimed to promote the dialogue around Fusarium TR4 and the global collaboration that helps mitigate its impacts and prevent its expansion. Correspondingly, to collectively understand its impact in the banana value chain, highlighting the relevance to assure food security and sustainable and resilient livelihoods in banana and plantains producing countries.

Presentations and discussion of main pressing topics were in hands of a multi-stakeholder group of guests, experts on Fusarium TR4 that have been in the frontline to tackle the disease in banana producing countries. The distinguished guests, also members of the WBF were Mr Luud Clercx, Project Manager of Agrofair;  Mr José Francisco Zúñiga, President of ASBAMA; Mr Emerson Aguirre Medina, President of AUGURA; Ms Morag Webb, Special Advisor of COLEACP; Mr Thierry Lescot, Agronomist and Researcher at CIRAD; Mr Patricio Almeida, Executive Director of Agrocalidad; Mr Fazil Dusunceli, Agricultural Officer of the Plant Production and Protection Division of FAO; and Mr Hugo Hays, Global Director Food Safety and Compliance of Fyffes

Main topics discussed included:

  1. Perspective from each organization: their role and main strategies to address Fusarium TR4.
  2. Main approaches for prevention and awareness raising: Are we sending the right message? Is the message being received by the right audience? 
  3. The main challenges after the outbreak: Were we ready? Main achievements and successes derived from the swift action each of them took.
  4. Collaboration at global, regional, national and local level: Is everyone taking a proactive role? Are we missing a stakeholder in the map of critical actors?  What else is needed to enhance this collaboration?
  5. Mitigation: what happens after the outbreak? How do we support producers and particularly smallholder farmers to cope with the situation and become more resilient and less vulnerable?
  6. Perspective for the future: let us be realistic but also send a message of hope and collaboration.

Among the takeaways of the session, Mr Liu highlighted that, despite the many challenges, the TR4 outbreak has prompted a sustainable, resilient and inclusive reframing of the industry that requires a global multi-stakeholder response. This has led the WBF to go beyond the technical scope of its TR4 Task Force (TR4TF) and establish the TR4 Global Network (TR4GN).

You can read more here and here.