TR4 Task Force Communication: Phytosanitary alert for Fusarium TR4 in Peru


After its first detection in Asia more than 20 years ago, subsequent shift to Africa in 2013 and arrival in Colombia in 2019. On April 12, the Peruvian National Service of Agricultural Safety (SENASA) has officially confirmed the presence of Fusarium Tropical Race 4 (TR4) in a 0.5-hectare farm at Querecotillo district of Sullana province in the Piura department of Peru. Subsequently, the Ministry of Rural Development and Irrigation has declared National Phytosanitary Emergency.

The World Banana Forum (WBF) fully supports the Declaration of a National Emergency, which is a prerequisite to implement all necessary measures to prevent a further spread of the fungus. The WBF also backs the regional efforts carried out by FAO’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean under its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) "Strengthening regional capacities for surveillance, prevention and management against the possible spread of Fusarium wilt of bananas, caused by Tropical race 4 of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc TR4)" launched in October 2019.

The WBF and its TR4 Task Force are working towards a TR4 Global Network (TR4GN), a platform that aims to coordinate the actions of the various stakeholders and to facilitate information sharing and communication to support the global efforts in the fight against TR4. The TR4 Global Network website is already available, providing a repository of information and materials regarding the disease and its management. The page contains information in Spanish and English.

In view of the outbreak of TR4 in Peru and imminent threat to neighbourhood banana producing countries, the WBF and its TR4 Task Force invite all stakeholders to join and extend the TR4 Global Network to jointly raise awareness, strengthen capacities and implement field actions. The following recommendations are provided to national and regional authorities, implementation leaders and decision-makers:

  • Strengthen inter-institutional coordination and promote the participation of experts that will allow an adequate diagnosis and treatment of the suspected symptoms.
  • Design and implement relevant and effective risk management plans.
  • Participate actively in the decision-making processes, so that decisions are aligned with the needs in the field to help producers reduce vulnerability and increase resilience.
  • Activate national and regional TR4 alerts and protocols, as well as maintain permanent contacts with the Regional and National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs). Responsible reporting of the presence of potential symptoms will contribute to contain the disease.
  • Dedicate human, technical and financial resources to capacity development and coordination of activities in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the rest of the world.
  • Implement biosecurity measures at farm level according to international guidelines (such as the IPPC Standard for Phytosanitary Measures and the GlobalGAP TR4-Biosecurity Add-On) and national guidelines.
  • Implement biosecurity measures in ports, airports and borders, according to national and international norms and standards.
  • Ensure the access of certified material free of TR4 and other diseases to small farmers.
  • Strengthen breeding programmes focused on the development of varieties and hybrids resistant to TR4 and facilitate its safe and fair distribution to all farmers.
  • Encourage partnerships between governments, development partners, R&D institutions and the private sector for technology transfer, co-creation of solutions, scale-up of relevant innovations, resource mobilization, capacity development and risk reduction for food security and safeguarding of livelihoods in rural communities.

Collaboration is at the core of the WBF and its TR4 Task Force, and we are convinced that only joint efforts and communication will lead to tackling the spread of Fusarium Tropical Race 4.

Join the TR4 Global Network of the World Banana Forum! Contact us at [email protected]