Espol presents App to help banana growers to detect Fusarium
On Monday, the Escuela Politécnica del Litoral (Espol), presented an application that will allow farmers to interact with experts from the study center to detect the presence of Fusarium R4T in their plantations.
Fusarium R4T invades the vascular system of the banana plant and prevents it from receiving water and nutrients. It is considered one of the 10 most lethal diseases in the history of agriculture.
Through the Fusarium Sensor Ec application, farmers can send photos of their plantations, so that Espol experts can analyze the possibility of the presence of the pathogen.
Suspected cases can be confirmed in the Agrocalidad laboratories and in those of the Ecuadorian Diagnostic Network, made up of the Ecuadorian Biotechnology Research Center (CIBE-ESPOL) and the National Agricultural Research Institute (INIAP).
“The goal is for you to be part of the solution,” researcher Freddy Magdama told farmers during the application launch.
“We want to improve the capabilities of symptom recognition and direct queries to detect cases,” he added.
The application was developed for the Android operating system by researchers from CIBE, the Faculty of Life Sciences (FCV) and the Faculty of Art, Design and Audiovisual Communication (FADCOM), with funding from the VLIR Network Ecuador program and the support from the Academic Vice-Rector and SEBIOCA-ESPOL.
Although Fusarium has not been detected in the country, Espol carried out a project that seeks to develop banana varieties resistant to the fungus, with radiation technology.