Mexico: HLB won't be eradicated, say authorities
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA) held a region meeting to discuss the issue, where plant health director Javier Trujillo Arriaga said the disease, otherwise known as 'Huanglongbing' (HLB), could not be eradicated.
"Once it arrives in an area this disease practically cannot be eradicated due to the wide range of hosts, so in the future we will have to continue with agriculture despite its presence," Trujillo Arriaga was quoted as saying.
He added that necessary assistance would be delivered to the citrus industry to develop disease management strategies, while financial support would also be given to farmers who decided to convert crops.
He said around 50% of the country's key lime crop area could be dedicated to other products, the story reported.
National Council for the Mexican Lime Productive System (Siprolimex) president Sergio Ramírez Castañeda, highlighted the importance of the meeting as there had not yet been a coordinated effort in managing the problem.
"We have all the information we need to make every step but we haven't done it, we have invested heavily but we haven't been able to make an impact from our agreements, so we definitely need to put our foot down and our cards on the table, that the disease is here to stay and we're not going to fight it with injections or anything else," Ramírez Castañeda was quoted as saying.
Ramírez Castañeda echoed Trujillo Arriaga comments by saying around half of the country's lime producers would not continue with the activity, which would mean a great opportunity for the remaining producers.
The story reported those who leave the industry would receive grants of up to 30% for crop conversion, while industrial businesses and packers would be asked for their 'joint support in fighting the disease' but without financial assistance.
Around 39% of citrus orchards in the state of Colima have been affected by the disease, the story reported.
Photo: Universidad de Colima