The tireless investigative angel that lives in the Doctor in Biological Sciences takes him to the constant search of subjects for the study and the proposal of solutions to problems related to the sugarcane.
Immersed in this struggle, the renowned phytopathologist of the Provincial Sugar Cane Research Station (EPICA), of Jovellanos, emphasizes that today he is working on updating the inventory of the presence and evolution of diseases that damage sugarcane.
“There are three people who have dealt with this inventory since the sugarcane arrived in Cuba on May 13, 1516. The American Bruner Stephen Cole did it until 1946, from that year until 1967 the director did of our station and both results were published in documents that constitute an important study material.
“Later I joined this activity to which I have dedicated 52 years and four months of my life, all this time in Jovellanos EPICA. This has given me the opportunity to know and master the subject of diseases of sugar cane. ”
So many, that you can ensure that today the list closes in 59 diseases.
“Of the 140 diseases that sugarcane suffers, we have a total of 59. This high number has several origins, one of them is the propagation in means of transport, to which the effects of atmospheric phenomena and also the unhealthy idea of some men who have introduced pests in our country to harm our economy. ”
Of that relation of diseases which are the ones that most affect the Cuban plantations?
“There are six major diseases in the world, two caused by viruses, mosaic and yellow leaf; two bacterial, rickets of shoots and leaf scald; and two caused by fungi, coal and rust from sugarcane. We all have them in Cuba. ”
Is there an antidote to treat those diseases?
“We are working with resistant varieties obtained in the territory, we have a collection of progenitors with three thousand 429 varieties.
All this result was obtained after a meeting chaired by Fidel in Matanzas at the time when comrade Julian Rizo was the party secretary in the province, due to a disease that occurred in the territory with 190 outbreaks. There, the Commander recommended that they search for varieties from different countries. ”
And with that assignment Chinea visited several regions of the world.
“To know about these diseases, they have sent me to 35 missions in thirteen countries. We were able to bring 225 varieties and so our collection grew to 824 and with that weapon we are fighting to treat diseases. ”
How do the seeds reach the producers?
“We have a seed system that is in three parts. The basic seed that we have in the station; the registered one that is in the Basic Business Units (UEB), and the certified one, which is the one that producers have in the agricultural cooperatives, that is what we call the seed chain and it is the fundamental basis to achieve a good production “.Doctor, with all that knowledge, what recommendations can you give to the producers?
“That they be disciplined, that they plant the varieties on the dates the research recommends. That they exploit these varieties rationally and that no reach more than 20 percent of a cooperative, territory and province, because if a new disease or a new race of which we already have is prevented from spreading, such and as it happened with the rust, that when it appeared in Cuba we had losses between 500 and 600 million dollars in a single harvest “.
Needs that occupy the days of Dr. Chinea, to strengthen knowledge about diseases of sugar cane, which he considers his greatest contribution to the economic development of Cuba.