FAO SUPPORT TO THE MANAGEMENT OF CITRUS GREENING DISEASE IN JAMAICA

The citrus industry is very important to Jamaica's economy in terms of employment, exports and local consumption, with an estimated value of J$4 billion. Local citrus production has declined significantly over the last six years spurred by the effects of the Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), adverse weather conditions, poor management, ageing farmers and declining acreages, raising concerns of the negative impact of the decline on food security and the local economy. Since October 2009, the industry has faced a new threat when the presence of the Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) or Greening Disease was confirmed. An island-wide survey in February 2010 revealed that HLB was present in all major citrus producing areas with the exception of the parish of Manchester. Further spread of the pathogen (Liberibacter asiaticus) is expected given the island wide distribution and abundance of the vector, the citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Kuwayama). In addition, Murrayapaniculata (L) Jack, a known host plant for the psyllid and recently reported a host for the HLB, is also extensively planted in the Jamaican landscape. The Government of Jamaica approached the FAO for technical support, as a result of which the two-year Project TCP/JAM/3302 "Assistance to manage Citrus Greening in Jamaica" was approved in October 2010. The Project aims to support the national effort to effectively manage the HLB, particularly in the small farms, through coordinated protection, mitigation and resuscitation strategies, resulting in sustained productivity of orchards. This is underpinned by a multi-pronged approach with five diverse components: Development of (1) an area-wide strategy for HLB management, (2) physical infrastructure, (3) capacity to produce disease-free nursery material, (4) diagnostic and detection capability, and (5) a public education and awareness campaign. Activities under project began in November 2010 and progress to date is presented in this paper. HLB has serious implications for the citrus industry in the Caribbean. The management strategies developed under the FAO Project in Jamaica will provide a model that other countries in the region can follow in the event that their citrus becomes infected by the HLB.


Issue Date:
2011
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/253827
Total Pages:
10




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-29

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