Chile: SAG declares Las Condes fruit fly-free -

Chile: SAG declares Las Condes fruit fly-free

Chile: SAG declares Las Condes fruit fly-free

The eastern Santiago district of Las Condes has been declared free of Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) after four months of intensive eradication efforts from the Chilean Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG).

The announcement last week followed a similar announcement in San Bernardo.

Authorities continue to fight the pest in Los Andes in the Valparaiso region, as well as in another Santiago district - Nuñoa.

Undersecretary of Agriculture Alfonso Vargas said he was very happy with the achievement.

"We have finished a fruit fly eradication campaign in this district, and for the growers of Chile this is very important because our fruit can reach different markets without quarantine and that produces a very relevant added value," Vargas said.

"There is more than US$5 billion worth of Chilean fruit that goes to different parts of the world and that's why it's so important that we can say there is no fruit fly in Las Condes."

Vargas emphasized that dispite the different eradication efforts underway, Chile had not lost its status as a fruit fly-free country.

"These are outbreaks and it's important to be able to control them in the right time, as was the case," he said.

"That's why I invite all Chileans to care for our important position that we've had since 1995. This is of great value and it allows us to maintain our phytosanitary status."

Las Condes Mayor Joaquín Lavín thanked residents for their collaboration in allowing SAG officials to visit more than 17,600 properties near the detection points, which led to the capture of seven insects. Officials also took fruit off the trees, conducted lab sampling and analysis, increased the number of traps in the area and treated the soils.