FAVACA Volunteer in Dominica to Help Fight Citrus Greening Disease
As the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry continues the fight to eradicate the deadly Citrus Greening disease which is also known as Huanglongbing, two volunteers from the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas Incorporated (FAVACA) provided some valuable assistance while they were on island.
They are consultants Doctor Eric Rohig and Doctor Xiaoan Sun from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, who worked with personnel of the Plant Protection Unit on the management of the Citrus Greening Disease, from December 2nd to 7th.
Doctor Eric Rohrig pointed out that since the disease has been in Dominica since 2006 and it has not spread to the commercial areas, they have to use in their favour to eradicate it.
He said if all the disease material can be eliminated the psyllids will have no disease to vector.
Doctor Rohrig says the spreading of parasites which combat the psyllids is also very important in fighting this disease.
According to their research done, it has been discovered that the disease came from infected plants which were brought into the country illegally, while some of the infected plants were grafted with local plants which caused the spread.
He said however the spread of the disease have only been in residential areas such as Wesley, Point Michel, La Plaine and Cabrits.
Doctor Sun stated they have to set up a quarantine area in Point Michel and Wesley, to commence the removal of infected trees and plants.
In addition to that they will also monitor island wide for the disease so any new area which is identified will be dealt with expeditiously.
Doctor Sun indicated that the public’s cooperation is vital in the eradication effort of this disease.
Without this support the eradication of the disease will not be possible.
Head of the Plant Protection Quarantine Unit in the Division of Agriculture, Mr. Ryan Anselm says the public should not move any infected plants, as this will further defeat their hard work and put them backwards in solving this issue.