Mexico steps up citrus greening control aid
The Mexican government is investing 560 million pesos ($44 million) to control the spread of the major citrus fruit disease, citrus greening ( Candidatus liberibacter). The Ministry of Agriculture is sending teams across the citrus-growing areas of Colima and Michoacán states, and installing laboratories and monitoring teams to collect samples in order to help detect outbreaks. It has implemented preventive measures since 2008, when the C liberabacter bacterium was first detected in the country. There are 12 laboratories working on the control of the disease, and another two dedicated to producing beneficial insects as biological controls for disease vectors. The Ministry is developing “alternative technology to the exclusive use of chemical insecticides”. Strict procedures are being applied, including the immediate uprooting and removal of infected trees, and the use of certified plants to replace them.