Dominica workshop to examine citrus greening in Caribbean

Thursday, December 11, 2014

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Dominica will host a three-day regional conference on the Haunglong Bing (HLB) or citrus greening disease management.

The disease is caused by a bacterium that blocks the phloem and prevents the flow of nutrients, resulting in loss of leaves, deformation and early drop of fruits and eventual death of the tree. The disease is vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation-sponsored workshop, which started yesterday, will allow for delegates from National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO) within the Caribbean Community to discuss ways to prevent and control HL. The organisers describe HLB as one of the most serious and devastating of all the diseases affecting citrus.

"Its high socio-economic impact is linked to the fact that all species of citrus are affected and there is no known cure."

The three-day conference will also be attended by experts from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

The workshop will review the HLB management and activities of Jamaica and Belize as well as review the national action plans prepared for five countries under the project.

Organisers said they hope the workshop would allow for information to be shared with the participating countries on the area-wide management of HLB, based on experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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