Chilean kiwifruit industry on alert over Psa -

Chilean kiwifruit industry on alert over Psa

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Chilean kiwifruit industry on alert over Psa

Chile's Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) has confirmed that kiwifruit disease Psa has not spread to any new regions since the last update in early November, but there have been seven new cases in that time.

The province of Linares continues to be the focus point with 29 of the 32 cases in the VII (Maule) region, while there are currently five Psa-positive orchards in the VIII (Bio Bio) region, taking the total to 37.

SAG called on growers to take all measures necessary to understand and control the disease, such as the disinfection of tools and vehicles, applying plant protection products at the right time, and only planting new orchards with SAG-registered materials.

SAG Maule regional director Eric Paredes asked growers to "be calm".

"In our region, functionaries from the Service are working on the ground to keep the blight under control and avoid its dispersion," he said in a release.

"We invite kiwifruit growers and the community in general to be calm, as SAG has put all its efforts that are at our disposal into mitigating the bacteria."

Chilean Kiwifruit Committee general manager Carlos Cruzat, told that while all precautionary measures were discussed and analyzed during public-private talks in late October, they weren't all agreed upon by growers.

"In this sense we have to keep working with SAG to address the technical foundations that support the government's official measures associated with Psa," he said.

The committee representative said there were no measures that could be taken that would be totally effective in controlling the disease.

"With respect to the presence of Psa in Chile I have to be emphatic in saying there has been significant geographic progress from the disease, which in addition to the severity of manifesting symptoms in affected orchards means we have to be very alert.

"We would love to make a call for calm, but the truth is that this wouldn't be in accordance with the seriousness of this advance that the first spring of Psa has presented in Chile.

"We need to alert growers not to spare efforts and resources in implementing these prevention and control measures."

The committee has been conducting workshops with local growers in diverse parts of the country to inform and educate them about the disease's control and prevention.

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