Replacing 200,000 destroyed by greening disease

Trinidad and Tobago: Resistant citrus plants imported

Almost a year after the government destroyed 200,000 citrus plants contaminated by citrus greening disease, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat assured that new, resistant citrus stock has been imported from the US and is now flourishing in the St Augustine nurseries.

Citrus greening disease (decimating more than 100 million trees worldwide and costing growers billions of dollars) was discovered in T&T early last year. The bacterial disease -that attacks orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon, mandarin, tangerine, tangelo and other citrus trees- is called Huan­glongbing, HLB or Citrus Greening. It is carried by the Asian citrus psyllid and attacks a tree’s vascular system, producing bitter fruit and eventually killing the tree.

In an interview, Rambharat said that, once the resistant plants are ready for replanting, they will be sold to farmers at the usual cost. Asked whether he was concerned about the high level of citrus imports coming into T&T, Rambharat said he hoped the new citrus nurseries will produce juices for local consumption.


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