EU plant health funds for Iberia
Portugal and Spain are to be the major beneficiaries of EU funds to aid plant health, Spanish newswire Agrodigital reports. Portugal is to receive €7.6 million ($9.9 million), and Spain some €2.3 million ($3 million). The next main receivers, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, will each be granted €300,000 ($390,000) or less. More than half the funds for Portugal are to be dedicated to containing the spread of pine wood nematodes ( Bursaphelenchus xylophilus), which have impacted conifers in the country for years ( Agrow passim). Investment in Spain will also go towards pinewood nematode control, as well as for use against island applesnails ( Pomacea insularum) on rice. Over 400,000 ha of rice across the EU are at threat from the pest, according to Agrodigital. Other national projects to benefit are those in Cyprus against red palm weevils ( Picudo de ferrugineus) and western corn rootworms ( Diabrotica virgifera) in Germany. The funds will be made available in 2013.