Argentine citrus exports are up 30 per cent compared to the same stage last season according to the latest figures from the Regional Plant Health Committee of Northwest Argentina (Corenoa).
During a meeting at San Miguel de Tucumán last week, Corenoa and national plant health service Senasa discussed the industry’s progress during the season so far and the analysed the status of huanglongbing (HLB) in the country.
“The current citrus export campaign remains very positive with increased volumes and good quality fruit,” said Senasa’s Martin Delucis. “There have been some interceptions in export markets but apart from this the campaign is progressing very well.”
Regarding HLB, Senasa’s director of surveillance and monitoring, Paul Cortese, noted that the situation remained “worrying” in Misiones where an emergency plan to control the disease is in place.
In August Senasa declared the northwest provinces (Tucumán, Salta, Jujuy and Catamarca) a protected area and banned the introduction of plants of fruit that could introduce the vector or disease into the region. The disease has wreaked havoc in northeastern regions of Misiones, Corrientes and Entre Rios.
“We are working hard to contain the disease but can always do more, and for that reason these meetings are vital to strengthen the actions taken by the regional government, private sector and national institutions,” Cortese said.
The meeting also address the progress made towards the opening of the US market for Argentine lemons. It heard how an APHIS inspection visit to citrus farms and packhouses is due to take place in mid-September.
In May, Senasa started a monitoring process against fruit fly that Aphis has stipulated must be in place for a period of between six months and year before the protocol is signed. “This would mean that we’re just in time to have the protocol approved before the start of next season, which runs from April to August,” said Senasa’s regional coordinator Rafael Rodriguez.