A delegation of Colombian government officials and banana industry representatives visited Far North Queensland in September to learn about the region’s unprecedented success in containing Panama disease Tropical Race 4.
Colombia is one of the world’s biggest banana exporting countries and recently had their first confirmed detection of the devastating disease.
The delegates engaged with industry, met with representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, including Biosecurity Queensland, and visited a TR4 infected farm.
The strict biosecurity protocols in place in Far North Queensland, and the best practice measures that allow a grower to keep trading after detection, provided valuable insight to the visitors.
Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA) Director of Plant Health, Mr Jorge Hernan Palacino, said for the past few years they had been closely watching how Queensland has managed Panama TR4.
“What we saw today was simple, straight forward solutions to complex problems,” Mr Palacino said.
“We have been working with our growers to build up their on-farm biosecurity and will take these Queensland ideas and adapt them to our farms.”