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CIB joins int'l partnership against Lethal Yellowing

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Coconut Industry Board (CIB) of Jamaica is partnering with twelve other countries on research to fight against bacteria affecting tropical and subtropical crops.

The research, dubbed TROPICSAFE, is being led by the University of Bologna in Italy and will address three diseases which affect perennial crops like palm, citrus and grapevine.

In a release today CIB said the project aims to provide innovative tools and solutions to manage and reduce the harmful impact of Lethal Yellowing, Citrus Greening and Grapevine Yellows on agricultural industries.

“Lethal Yellowing, which has devastated local coconut palms in the past, continues to kill coconut palms mainly in the eastern sections of Jamaica, in spite of successful implemented control measures in some of the affected areas by CIB. Hence, the CIB will play a leading role in the project's implementation,” stated the board.

CIB said this will be done in tandem with three other Italian entities, namely the Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economics Analysis (CREA), AgriTest and University of Bologna (UNIBO).

“TROPICSAFE will deploy the knowledge and technologies available in European countries with months of tropical and subtropical climates and in Jamaica to carry out epidemiologic studies,” the release said.

The CIB said it expects that these studies will fill gaps in knowledge pertaining to climatic and cultural factors, integrated pest management strategies based on innovative diagnostic and prevention tools, reduced insecticide treatments and pest risk assessment schemes.

The board also informed that the project will evaluate the economical sustainability and the industrial relevance of the proposed solutions, as well as assess the social impact of these diseases and the distributive effects in the target countries.

“Local plant protection organisations, farmers and producers will actively participate as partners in the Stakeholder Advisory Board, taking part in field trials and demonstrations,” said CIB.

The launch of the project was held in Bologna in May 2017 at the Alma Mater Studiorum in Italy.

CIB said the project will last for 4 years with funding of almost 4 million Euros from the H2020 programme, which is the EU's biggest research and innovation programme.




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