Poster Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Improving on-farm biosecurity in the Philippine banana farms by reducing soil movement on footwear (#151)

Tamsi Jasmin D. Gervacio 1 , Agustin B. Molina 2 , Stewart J. Lindsay 3 , Marvin Ray A. Tagan 1 , Christine Rose C. Ansale 1 , Tony B. Pattison 3 , Franz Kevin A. Colaja 1 , Herschey R. Cole 1 , Myg D. Deseo 1 , Archieval A. Espolong 1 , Jasty Mart L. Fuentes 1 , Mark C. Laum 1 , Ana Mae Maniquez 1 , Maria Isabel Lindo 1 , Rancis T. Obero 1
  1. University of Southeastern Philippines, Davao City, DAVAO DEL SUR, Philippines
  2. Bioversity International, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
  3. Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, South Johnston, Queensland, Australia

The Philippine Cavendish banana industry occupies 80,000 hectares with 60% operated by big plantations and 40% from small independent growers. In 2013, its export value was US$1000 million, serving 320,000 direct employments. However, the incursion of Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4) (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense) (Foc) has seriously jeopardised the export banana industry, 3000 hectares were abandoned and 6000 hectares were affected in varying levels particularly small holder growers.  To reduce its impacts on banana production, increased farm biosecurity is required.  On-farm biosecurity within the Philippines requires the removal of soil from footwear of farm workers and use of disinfestants.  An experiment using different low cost “boot scrapers” was done to determine their effectiveness in removing soil from footwear.  Their effectiveness was tested over two contrasting seasonal conditions.  Then, disinfectants used in banana farms were tested for their effectiveness to eliminate Foc. Finally, the concepts were validated by determining the longevity of footbath under a commercial banana production conditions.  A simple wire mesh design proved to be the most effective method in removing soil from footwear under both seasonal conditions. The wire mesh was ten times effective than using coco coir.  The use of Formo™ (2,2-Dibromo-3-nitrilopropionamide) at the recommended 9% rate proved to be the most efficacious product eliminating Foc.  The longevity of Formo™ on the commercial banana farm was greatest when the footbath was freshly prepared. But its efficacy declined with time and was lowest after five days.  Therefore, cleanliness of footbath is critical, as residues of soil and organic matter, which may contain spores of the pathogen, may also reduce product efficacy. To improve on-farm biosecurity for Philippine banana farms requires a combination of wire mesh boot scrapers, to remove mud and organic material, together with an appropriate disinfectant such as Formo™, that is regularly replaced.