Valencia's Councillor of Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change and Rural Development, Elena Cebrián, has reported on the detection of the third outbreak of "Xylella fastidiosa" in Alicante, affecting about twenty municipalities, in a meeting called for by the Valencian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FVMP).
The meeting was also attended by the General Director of Agriculture, Roger Llanes, and will be followed by others in Valencia and Castellón.
This third outbreak has its epicentre in the municipalities of Castell de Guadalest and Benimantell and nearby towns, with 23 of the 26 plots affected.
In the two previous outbreaks, 18.2 hectares (5.53 in a forest area) were treated with pesticides, and it was necessary to remove shrubs from the undergrowth and 304 almond trees from five plantations.
The new area affected, which includes the aforementioned 26 plots and a radius of about 10 kilometres, covers an area of 110,000 hectares.
In this area, there are a total of 35 nurseries and garden centres that, in compliance with European regulations, will have to control the movement of plant material to prevent its exit outside the area, as well as to investigate the traceability and find out about the destinations for specified plant materials over the last three years.
In the study of possible new cases, the technicians of the Council have analysed numerous avocado, citrus and olive trees, as well as other forest species, with negative results in all cases, and special attention is also given to possible points of entry, such as ports and airports and nurseries.
The origin of this bacterium's outbreak is yet to be determined, according to the Councillor, who said that this issue is "very difficult" to determine. According to Cebrián, the Council is investing 1,150,000 Euro for the eradication of this bacterium.