Brief outline of ecological management in plantain cultivation.
Dear readers, the plantaincrop is a fruit of great economic importance worldwide and to achieve an excellent yield it must be provided with adequate agronomic management, one of the crucial factors in production is when it is affected by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis Morelet which is commonly known as black sigatoka, which is considered a very destructive disease in the musaceae family, because it causes a kind of burning or necrosis in the leaves of the plants, which significantly influences the optimal characteristics of the fruit, since the plant needs at least eight to ten functional leaves to carry out the photosynthesis process and therefore the proper filling of the fruit.
Generally, for the control of black sigatoka, growers use synthetic fungicides that can be very expensive and, in addition, the fungus can sometimes create resistance to the applied product. Currently, with the paradigm of sustainable agriculture, alternatives such as sulfocalcic broth, native microorganisms, among others, have begun to be used, in addition to focusing on proper crop management that favors the availability of nutrients for the plant.
The aforementioned alternatives are not intended to displace management based on chemical controls, but integrated management can be implemented alternating both ecological and synthetic alternatives to achieve efficient control and possible resistance by the fungus, the purpose will always be to ensure efficient management for small, medium and large plantain producers with the intention of reducing their costs and the levels of contamination generated and to increase biodiversity in soils and the entire agricultural ecosystem.
On the other hand, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) mentions that the intensive use of agrochemicals on crops continues to be a challenge in the agricultural sector, specifically in the specialized plantain production, due to the excessive use and incorrect handling of fungicides by workers who are responsible for the application, which causes an occupational health problem, running the risk of contracting diseases such as cancer or poisoning. Technological tools such as drones are now being used to apply fungicides to plantain, but there is still a risk of a public health problem, since certain substances are spread in the air and can affect nearby rural communities.
Dear readers, for all the above mentioned the ecological control can become a possible solution because the idea is to promote germination, growth, flowering, fruiting and ripening of the plantain crop, increasing the presence of organic matter and improving the physical and chemical biological properties of the soil, in addition to this, it ensures the photosynthetic capacity of plants with a large number of healthy and functional leaves which guarantees a better production and quality of fruits.
In future publications we will share with you how to elaborate some of the mentioned products, as well as some experimental results obtained for the control of black sigatoka.
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