Colombia beefs up surveillance to combat HLB citrus disease
Officials from the Colombian Institute of Agriculture have conducted testing to ensure that the insects that infect plants with HLB, or Huanglongbing, have not entered the country, said general manager Teresita Beltrán Ospina, according to the institute’s website.
The agency also has increased surveillance at airports, seaports and border crossings to keep the disease at bay. The citrus industry has also participated to keep watch on the supply chain, the agency said. HLB has not entered Colombia, the agency website said.
HLB is spread when infected insects pass the bacteria to citrus plants. The disease, believe to have originated in China, causes the “greening” of the branches and produces small, misshapen fruit. It has been discovered in Asia, Africa, the U.S. and Brazil.