Colombia reports progress in fruit fly eradication

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Colombia reports progress in fruit fly eradication

Twenty-seven municipalities in Colombia's Cundinamarca and 16 in Bocayá have been declared zones of low prevalence for Mediterranean fruit fly or Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), reported the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA).medfly

The announcement has implications for international trade, given the pest's phytosanitary importance, explained Luis Humberto Martínez Lacouture, ICA general manager.

"Some international markets demand, for fruit from zones with Mediterranean fruit fly, that the shipments be subject to quarantine treatments, such as cold treatment or hot vapor. This causes an increase in export costs, which must be undertaken by the producer," Martínez said.

Progress in fruit fly eradication comes as a result of Colombia's National Fruit Fly Plan, which has sought to improve phytosanitary conditions and reduce producer losses.

"This will allow us to offer products with a quality standard under a given system and lower costs," Martínez said.

To determine fruit fly prevalence, ICA carried out monitoring activities throughout the supply chain. The organization also introduced producers to management techniques.

The newly declared zones join others that have previously been found at low risk of fruit fly, such as the savanna of Bogotá, coffee production regions, the northern valley of Cauca and the municipalities of Tierralta and Valencia in Córdoba.

Feats against fruit fly should help Colombia as it works to open exports for uchuva, or Physalis peruviana, without quarantine treatment to the U.S. ICA is currently working on a phytosanitary plan with the U.S. to trade the product.

Photo: male Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), United States Department of Agriculture

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