Citrus under threat

Dominican citrus is under serious threat, according to Ministry of Agriculture officials.

They are reporting that a deadly disease has been discovered, with the “Citrus Greening Disease” already affecting the island’s citrus production.

According to Plant Protection Officer, Ryan Anselm, the disease was discovered in Dominica recently and could have been brought into the country illegally by an individual.

“Citrus greening is one of the world’s major citrus diseases and is very dangerous. It is transmitted by a vector and we intercepted that vector since 2007 however, the disease was officially confirmed late this month. The disease is here and we need to put measures in place to sustain the citrus industry,” he explained.

Anselm expects the disease to enter the island more frequently “because of the ease of travel and the movement of people”.

He indicated that efforts to tackle the problem would include trying to manage the vector.

“We do not have the vector in very high population so we will manage the vector by multiple parasites and other insects”.

He said strict quarantine measures will also be put in place to restrict the movement of plants from one area to the other.

“We will also put strict certification procedures in place. We already have the citrus certification programme so that is positive news,” he added.

Anselm said the ministry of agriculture will also develop standards and procedures for surveying.

“We also have to train the farmers in disease management and identification. Everyone needs to play their part,” he said.

The agriculture official has explained that plants affected by the disease will have a yellowish colour.

Anselm said the disease has forced the shutdown of several citrus operations around the Caribbean and Dominica’s economy could suffer “if that were to happen to us”.

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17 Comments

  1. beholder
    May 31, 2012

    Disease in always present. Just like in humans the potential is there but if you are healthy and strong your system can resist the attack. It is the same with fruit baring trees. If you poison the soil to prevent weed growth, you weaken the medium the tree grows in. It removes natural nutrients that can not be adequately replaced with more petroleum based chemical fertilizers. Spraying kills bees needed to pollinate the flowers that produce the fruit. Feed trees with natural compost and they will be more able to withstand this new pathogen. Let’s make Dominica all natural!

  2. A.E.W
    May 31, 2012

    if we act swiftly i believe that this disease can be controlled and contained to some extent. Our Agricultural sector should have had more emphasis placed on it as much as the Tourism Sector, that way, we probably would have been on top of this a long time ago.

  3. Anonymous D
    May 31, 2012

    But what is that for me nuh. What disease want with my lime squash and OJ nuh. Free up the citrus ehh. Blessingzzz to my country.

  4. Anonymous
    May 31, 2012

    I have that same question. Why did it take 5 years for the disease to be confirmed if he vector was intercepted since 2007

    • SMA 1988
      May 31, 2012

      This may have been done in an effort to protect trade…maybe. The wind may have been the vector during events like tropical storms…maybe.

  5. 1979
    May 31, 2012

    weh boy, somebody checking DOMINICA TOO SWEET, people don’t want to work because they can just pick a grapefruit, a banana, bathe in the river, catch crayfish and scene. it looks like soon not even that we will be able to do because we love to take things for granted in SWEET DOMINICA. I don’t think my lil one will know what a VEO is much less what it tastes like in a nice soup…..all of these things we have lost along the way, before you just had to put your foot in the river and those baby crayfish would come and give you a pedicure now, u can lift up a million stone u might not be lucky to see one.

    where has all the flowers gone?????????????????

    alas alas alas, no more tangarine? no more lime? no more grapefruit juice?

    we have too much we dont even use it to export. mango rottening on tree
    cherries
    carambola
    nonny
    boy allu blessed wi, no wonder foreigners love our country so. poor us who cant see what we have much less to save it.

  6. Free Thinker
    May 30, 2012

    I am at a a loss, if the vector – the carrier of the disease was intercepted since 2007, I don’t recall the general public being notified about it. What measures have been put in place by the Ministry of Agriculture to prevent its spread?
    Is the ‘yellowish colour’ the only symptom of the disease? The Plant Protection Officer needs to give us more information if our Citrus is under threat.

    in order to prevent the spread of this disease? Thirdly, the public needs to know the name of the vector and whether the ‘yellowish colour’ the only symptom of the disease? I would like to hear more from the department responsible for pest and disease control.

    • SMA 1988
      May 31, 2012

      The disease was intercepted and not the vector…I think the vector is the disease carrying object like man,wind,dirty contaminated tools etc

    • fair
      June 1, 2012

      you will hear more as the keep researching, and public is not made aware of a disease unless it has been properly investigated and seen as a threat please give our guys at Agriculture a break, we have very little to work with and has to deliver a lot while politicians playing games and they pushing tourism instead of agriculture listen for budget in July and all u will hear, research and labs call for $$$$$$$$$$$ tell them to give us a fully equipped lab so we can take care of our people, and all who selling un certified citrus plants be stopped and no political games involve to compromise

  7. dirty harry
    May 30, 2012

    always blame the leaders see how fare blame game gan take us

  8. Country
    May 30, 2012

    If I am not mistaken the last trees we bought from the Dept. of Agriculture they are disease resistant. I think this pertains to the older trees on Island? They did inform the farmers. I planted the new ones to replace the old as they die out.

  9. ..........
    May 30, 2012

    More people will scrunt and suffer again.
    I feel for those affected..
    Things are getting from bad to worse, but what do we expect when we have lazy, clueless leaders who cannot prioritise.Agriculture was already in a coffin, it is now being buried slowly.OMG!

  10. May 30, 2012

    Did I read that the vector was Intercepted in 2007? can some one explain why it took so long to informed the Farmers and the public?

    • May 30, 2012

      OPPS!!! typo should have read Inform” not Informed. So keep your thumbs up!

      • dee
        May 30, 2012

        the presence of the vector doesnt necessarily mean the disease is present in the country, it just means that the insect (vector) that carries the disease is… the disease itself was only positively diagnozed a few weeks ago

    • B.E.B
      May 31, 2012

      What difference would it make?

    • fair
      June 1, 2012

      all d time we had rat since we small did u hear our people dieing from leptose until now? well the rat is a vector same goes for the citrus, just as AIDS live in the human body is not all humans has AIDS

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