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Sowing interspecific hybrids (OXG) an alternative to the problem of bud rot (PC) in the north of Colombia

Sowing interspecific hybrids (OXG) an alternative to the problem of bud rot (PC) in the north of Colombia


By: Oscar Salamanca and Juan Carlos Lara, Plantation Manager and Auditor

The oil palm disease known as Bud Rot (PC) has had enormous economic impact on palm cultivation at a national level, and significantly affecting the four producing areas of  Colombia.  In the northern zone, an increase in the number of cases occurred in 2010, affecting the  plantations  in the vicinity of the municipalities of Aracataca and Fundacion, where the Tequendama plantation of DAABON Group is located. From this moment on, the Group’s management and technical team began to search for an agronomic management alternative that would bring about a solution to the great phytosanitary problem that affects the crop and allows its sustainability over time.

Initially, work was done on the affected palms seeking  to  cure  and solve the problem of the disease, but after seeing how the number of cases and incidents increased considerably,   a   search or  solution  was  started in genetically resistant materials. This led us to visit all the areas affected by the disease, both in Colombia and in countries such as Ecuador and Costa Rica, reaching the conclusion that the genetic factor of the palm was of vital importance to reducing or limiting the presence of the disease in crops. This, added to the experience that the group already had with the management of Interspecific Hybrids in another company, including Oleoyuma, was vital to finding an effective solution.

The Interspecific Hybrid has shown to be tolerant of the disease and has become the immediate solution to its management. In addition to this, its response in productive improvement both in the production of clusters and in oil content have improved extraction and made it a good alternative. Production has risen from 4.5 tons of oil per hectare per year to more than 7 tons of oil per hectare. Another benefit from the hybrid is the increase in the need for labour due to additional pollination work, making it a job-generating crop. Currently, a total of 600 hectares have been renovated with hybrid in Tequendama (between 2019 and 2020). Tequendama is our pioneer company in the northern zone where the sowing of hybrids is currently underway, with the goal of achieving 1,500 planted hectares.