Peru declares a phytosanitary emergency in two regions because of a pest affecting citrus crops

The Peruvian Ministry of Agricultural Development and Irrigation (Midagri) has declared a phytosanitary emergency in the regions of Ucayali and Loreto due to Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, a pest that affects citrus.

Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri is the bacterium that causes "citrus canker", a disease that affects plants of the Rutaceae family, mainly Citrus spp, Fortunella spp, and Poncirus spp, grown under tropical and subtropical conditions.

Resolution 0116-2023-MIDAGRI-SENASA, which is valid until December 31 of this year, indicates that the main short-range dispersal mechanisms of the pest (transfer within the same plant or between different plants on the same plot) are wind-borne raindrops and splashing water. Over longer distances, the main dispersal mechanism is the movement of infected material. The spread of this pest can also occur through the trade and transport of the fruit.

"Peru grows citrus for the domestic and foreign market. The Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri pest mainly causes losses related to leaf and fruit loss and fruit with spots. Thus, it's not unusual that almost all fruits and leaves of susceptible young trees become infected by this pest. In severely affected young plants, the development and maturity of the trees may be delayed for several years," the resolution states.

Midagri plans to intensify surveillance, quarantine, and control actions to reduce the risk of the pest spreading within Peru. To this end, authorities are taking a series of phytosanitary measures that can be consulted here.

Natural and legal persons involved in the citrus supply chain, as well as carriers and the general public, must comply with the phytosanitary and administrative measures established by the National Agricultural Health Service. In case of non-compliance, the National Agrarian Health Authority may request the support of the public force to establish sanctions.



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