Farmers of Cartago are using fungi to control pests

A group of five fungi arrived to displace the use of chemicals such as methyl bromide (fumigant soil) in cultured Llano Grande de Cartago.

Fungi have the function of controlling pests and diseases in different cultivations, such as strawberries, flowers and potatoes. The difference in the market is that in applying these products in crops do not harm the ozone layer or the health of human beings.

The project is an initiative of the Association of Agricultural Producers (Aproflor) that is in development since 2007, with a production of fungi that has a duration of about 15 days.

The biotechnologist Marta Monge is responsible for giving technical advice to producers. As a first step, it removes samples of crops to determine what kind of diseases affecting plantations.

After diagnosis, Monge develop a process in which first obtains the strain of the fungus, to then pass to a rice bottles for growth and then inject the contents into bags production, and these are finally lead to growth chambers with heat .

“The whole process takes a period of 15 days, is a rigorous process in which the bags can not be mixed with any other substance,” said Monge.

Currently, farmers use about six kilos of product per hectare. The bags are placed in Stanol fungi with water, the farmer subsequently used to fumigate and remove mold, bacteria or insects on crops.

This pest control system could open a product international “friendly” with the ozone layer and several years ahead of us with the United States, which is lesscompetitive in this type of farming practices.

“Now, what follows is eco-competitiveness, which means seeing how that field effort, we want to bring this system to the opening of new markets, price improvement and recognition of producers in the international arena,” said RenéCastro, Minister of Environment and Energy.

The preference for the biological control of pests in agriculture instead of the useof methyl bromide as a pesticide, is one of the actions with which the country ishelping to reduce substances that degrade the ozone layer.

These efforts to protect the ozone layer were honored this month by the Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Program for Environment (UNEP).