Agriculture expert says Citrus Greening Disease can be controlled

The effects of citrus greening disease

Experts have said  that public participation and cooperation is key to solving the Huanglongbing Disease, also known as Citrus Greening Disease, which is now affecting citrus in certain parts of Dominica.

According to agriculture officials, the disease has been found in four locations in Dominica.

Biological Scientist from the Florida Department of Agriculture (FDA), Dr. Eric Rohrig, said at a press conference at the Forestry Division on Friday, that there is a high possibility that the disease can be eliminated.

“The Asian Citrus Psyllid (insect that spread the disease from one plant to the next) would be very difficult to eradicate … you may never be able to eradicate it from the island …. it’s something you have to deal with but some very positive news is the disease itself can likely be eradicated from the island, something many other countries would be jealous of,” Rohrig said.

He said Dominica has some strong attributes that work in its favor when it comes to dealing with the disease.

“You have many things going for you … since your island is mountainous and heavily vegetated, all that vegetation forms a barrier so it has a much harder time spreading from the areas it has been to new areas,” he said.

Meantime Ryan Anselm, head of the plant quarantine unit in Dominica, outlined the agriculture ministry’s plans to tackle the disease.

“An integrated pest management plan has been introduced,” he pointed out. “We have three main principles:  eliminating of infected plants, control of the vector which is the Asian citrus Psyllid  and to produce clean planting materials. The government has invested in a citrus certification program and has spent millions of dollars in providing planting materials for the farmers so that investment has worked for us we have the capacity to provide clean planting materials free of diseases.”

The Citrus Greening Disease has been found in La Plaine, Pointe Michel, Wesley and Cabrits.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    December 10, 2012

    The definition of FDA is “Food and Drug Administration”

  2. yep
    December 7, 2012

    so when will we get compensation from…erh… the EAST

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