Black sigatoka management training for farmers

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Caribbean countries are still fighting the onslaught of black sigatoka fungus [see previous posts Caribbean Concerns about Black Sigatoka Disease and St. Lucia Government to Combat the Black Sigakota Disease] on their crops. Dominica recently hosted a two-week workshop on “Integrated Disease Management of Black Sigatoka,” which ended today, December 4, 2015. In the workshop, Suriname-based plant pathologist, Dr. Robert Power highlighted the importance of a clean environment in managing the deadly black sigatoka disease. See excerpts here:

The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) organized this workshop in an effort to further strengthen Dominica’s capacity to manage Black Sigatoka Disease.

“We bring the newest technology and the newest technology is not putting emphasis on chemical control, on the chemical part, but in the first place on the environment where it should be in fact clear, free of dead hanging leaves in abandoned fields of banana,” Dr Power told members of the press on Thursday 3 December 2015.

Dr Power indicated that farmers play a critical role in maintaining a clean environment on their fields. “The discipline of the farmer should be there also to do things on time, fertilizing on time, these management programs need to be executed on time and so on”. Additionally, Dr Power informed the farmers of the role which the weather pattern plays on the management of the disease. “These are all the things we have discussed and weather factors like rainfall, humidity and temperature are all taken into account,” he said.

“We have now, I think, a clear picture of how we can influence the lifecycle of the black sigatoka fungus so we can manipulate it, we can manage it, we can do a number of things apart from chemical control. If the need is there to use chemicals, then we do it,” Dr Power stated.

This capacity building workshop is one of three actions taking place under the CARDI/CDB funded project (2015-2016) “Development of an Integrated Disease Management Programme for Black Sigatoka Disease” in Guyana, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.

For original article, see http://www.dominicavibes.dm/featured-187690/

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