Agricultural biotech company MustGrow Biologics has announced what it describes as the successful importation of its biopesticide TerraMG into Colombia to help tackle a banana-killing fungus.
According to the company, TerraMG is MustGrow’s signature mustard-derived biopesticide formulation that has been proven to control soil-borne pests and diseases.
Laboratory testing in Colombia will focus on eradicating the Panama Disease (Fusarium wilt TR4), a devastating disease pathogen ravaging the $25 billion global banana industry.
MustGrow’s (@MustGrowBio) previous independent efficacy studies involving the treatment of Fusarium oxysporum, a soil-borne pathogen, have demonstrated 100% control of the fungus, according to the company.
Panama Disease is among the most destructive banana diseases, affecting particularly Cavendish bananas (half of all bananas produced). Currently, there are no effective treatments for infected banana plantations, with the disease remaining viable for decades in the soil and can cause 100% yield loss.
MustGrow has already been working towards its US-EPA and Canadian-PMRA registrations of TerraMG for pre-plant treatment of soil-borne pests and diseases in high value fruits & vegetables. Now, MustGrow is replicating that strategy in Colombia’s besieged banana industry – focused on controlling and eliminating the Panama Disease. This work will build on MustGrow’s existing field data and serve as a benchmark for achieving registration labels in Colombia and other leading South American agricultural countries.
“This is a huge milestone for MustGrow, as we expand our footprint from North America to South America,” said MustGrow COO Colin Bletsky. “The Colombian government has declared a National State of Emergency, with no viable options available to combat Panama Disease – we look forward to potentially aiding not only Colombian farmers, but the health and prosperity of the nation itself.”
The spread of Panama Disease through banana plantations in South America has prompted Colombia to reportedly declare a National State of Emergency, enacting special measures to stop the disease from spreading, including the preventive eradication of 168 hectares of infected crop. A flurry of media reports has followed, revealing a race to save bananas from extinction after the disease has left a trail of scorched banana plantations in its wake.
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