Saint Lucia’s Director of Agricultural Services, Dr. Auria King-Cenac, has warned that TR4 banana disease threatens food security and millions of people worldwide who rely on bananas and plantains as cash crops.
“Our farmers and their families are not spared,” King-Cenac told an awareness exercise for employees of Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA).
TR4 is a soil-borne fungus.
The Director of Agricultural Services spoke of its recognition as one of the most destructive organisms in agriculture and the world’s greatest threat to banana and plantain production.
King-Cenac said prevention was the most effective means of combatting it.
In this regard, she told the SLASPA employees that their early detection role was key to fighting the entry of TR4, which could potentially ruin the lives of many, including farmers and others who depend on the banana and plantain industries.
“This is why I encourage you, the frontline staff, as a first point of entry of the TR4 pathogen to embrace this awareness training,” King-Cenac told the SLASPA employees.