Ministry of Agriculture activated batteries in the fight against xylella. This is evident, at least, from recent data suggesting that bacteria-fighting work in the state of Alicante has accelerated since the European Union (EU) slap on the wrist for accumulated delays. And this, 94,000 almond trees destroyed in one year, a figure roughly the same as that achieved in the previous four years. The plague, after being detected for the first time in Benimarfull, now affects 64 municipalities.
Xylella, one of the most dangerous phytopathogenic bacteria for agriculture, feeding on almond trees in the province of Alicante, was detected in this region in June 2017. Since then, the Ministry of Agriculture has been carrying out an eradication plan consisting of: destroying all trees within a 50-metre perimeter around the infected specimen. However, an audit by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Food Health, a little over a year ago, revealed significant delays in the measures implemented by the regional office, and more specifically in the removal of almond trees. other plants are considered priority.
Since then, the situation has changed radically. The latest plague update made public by the ministry shows that nearly 94,000 almond trees have been uprooted since this report; In fact, the same amount The global number since detection of the pest is currently 187,400 crushed trees.. The ministry likewise eliminated 4,990 infected vegetables.
Data provided by the district department, since the previous update, restricted area increased by 1.1% to 139,459 hectares, the directly infected rose 5.7% to 3,027. Similarly, samplings revealed the presence of the bacterium for the first time in Benimarfull. There are currently 62 municipalities affected in the province of Alicante. and two of them in Valencia. In Alicante, the towns are located in the districts of Marina Alta, Marina Baixa, l’Alcoià, El Comtat and l’Alacantí, to which we must add Safor in the Valencia region.
Regional Agriculture Minister Roger Llanes acknowledges that a step forward in the fight against bacteria has been made, but does not directly attribute it to a wake-up call for the EU. In his own words, “at first We weren’t able to run that far due to problems with identifying landlords and the over 2,400 appeals we had to resolve.. Once the path was clear, we were able to allocate more resources.” Llanes also thinks that xylella is now under control, “because – he points out – its spread is minimal.”
For his part, Francisco Javier Molines, head of the platform for those affected, confirms that there are still many trees to be uprooted and that the plan to destroy is “will result in the abandonment of almost all landsbecause most farmers won’t be able to start from scratch.”
Beginning of the proceedings regarding the compensation increase
The Ministry of Agriculture commissioned a study from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) to increase the compensation received by farmers for the destruction of almond trees. Currently, the maximum fee for each isolated tree uprooted is 28 euros, compared to 6,400 euros per hectare per area. The increase in replanting costs and claims by those affected has led to a commitment to improve compensation, and the amounts will be determined by university work, according to regional secretary Roger Llanes.
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