`Italy Unveils Plan to Battle Olive Tree Killer - Olive Oil Times

Italien stellt Plan zur Bekämpfung des Olivenbaummörders vor

4. September 2014
Olive Oil Times Mitarbeiter

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Experts say Italy’s Oleander-lined roads are act­ing as con­duits, spread­ing the bac­te­ria Xylella fas­tidiosa.

More than eight months after deadly bac­te­ria has threat­ened olive crops in Italy, and olive prices world­wide, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (MIPAAF) has announced a mon­i­tor­ing plan to bat­tle Xylella fas­tidiosa, the plant-killing microbes that have infected over - acres of olive trees in the region of Puglia.

The plan involves enforc­ing a san­i­tary cor­don in the most recently affected Leece to pre­vent the bac­te­ria from spread­ing north. Cordons require form­ing an enclosed, well-trimmed plot heav­ily treated with pes­ti­cides. Additionally, the Ministry has pro­posed increased mon­i­tor­ing of the bac­te­ria, the felling of infected plants and bet­ter track­ing of poten­tial car­ri­ers of the bac­te­ria.

The MIPAAF will intro­duce a sci­en­tific com­mit­tee of indus­try experts to sup­port the exist­ing National Plant Protection Service in research­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of infected trees and trans­mis­sion. The min­istry also plans to pro­vide finan­cial assis­tance to affected farm­ers and pro­duc­ers.

The ori­gin of the bac­te­ria remains unknown, but accord­ing to Rolando Manfredini, an expert with an Italian farm­ers’ lobby group, Xylella fastidiosa likely came from imported plants such as ole­an­der. "Italy’s motor­ways are often lined with ole­an­ders, which turn the roads into flower-lined avenues, but could also turn them into deadly con­duits for the dis­ease to spread through Italy to other regions noted for their olives, like Tuscany,” Manfredini told the Telegraph.

According to Antonio Guario, a health offi­cial with the regional gov­ern­ment, Italy cur­rently exports - tonnes of olive oil annu­ally, mak­ing it the world’s sec­ond-largest exporter after Spain.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has reported there is "Aufgrund des breiten Wirtsspektrums des Erregers und seiner Vektoren gibt es keine Aufzeichnungen über eine erfolgreiche Ausrottung von X. fastidiosa im Freien. “


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