The Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, Enrique Martínez y Martínez, issued two agreements declaring the vine producing municipalities of Sonora a zone free of the Pierce disease (Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa) and of the spotted wing fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii matsumura).
On Monday, both agreements, in which the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) declared the municipalities of Altar, Caborca, Carbo, Empalme, Guaymas, Hermosillo, Pitiquito and San Miguel de Horcasitas, which are in Sonora and are the main producing area of vines in the country free of these pests, were published in the Official Gazette (DOF).
The agreements benefit the farmers of the entity, which cultivate an area of 19,015 hectares and have an average annual production of 210,038 tons with an estimated value of $4,232 million pesos.
This activity generates approximately three million jobs per year, which means that the cultivation of the vine is one of the most important activities in northeastern Mexico and in the state of Sonora.
According to data from the Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), 75% of the production of these eight municipalities (14,268 acres), is devoted to the production of table grapes that are marketed both domestically and internationally; 6.2% percent, 1,164 acres, is allocated for the wine industry, and 18.8 percent, 3,583 acres, for the production of raisins.
The agreement that declared the aforementioned municipalities free of the Pierce disease was issued after inspectors from the National Health Service, Food Safety and Quality (SENASICA) verified the absence of the Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa bacteria and insect vectors that transmit it in the area.
The producers, in coordination with the competent authorities at the federal and state levels, performed the work and activities established in the Official Mexican Standard NOM-069-FITO-1995 for the establishment and recognition of pest free areas.
Pierce's disease, which attacks vine crops, is considered a quarantine pest by Mexico. It is a progressive disease that can kill plants and complete vineyards in periods of two to three years after the infection begins. It is caused by the Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa bacteria, which is transmitted from plant to plant by insect vectors, mainly from the Cicadellidae family, that disperse the bacteria in the grape growing areas.
The document also establishes phytosanitary measures to control and mitigate the spread of the Pierce disease, published in the DOF on July 2, 2014.
Similarly, SAGARPA published the agreement stating that the eight aforementioned municipalities were free of the spotted wings fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii matsumura) in the DOF.
The agreement was issued because the producers, in coordination with the bodies of the Federal and State Governments, conducted the work and activities set forth in the Official Mexican Standard NOM-069-FITO-1995 for the establishment and recognition of pest free areas and inspectors from SENASICA didn't detect the Drosophila suzukii matsumura in the vine growing areas in the state of Sonora.
In addition, the document notes that the phytosanitary measures to be applied to maintain and protect these pest free areas are those provided in the "Agreement establishing phytosanitary measures to control and mitigate the spread of the spotted wings fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii matsumura) "Published in the Official Gazette on July 2, 2014.
It is worth noting that the spotted wing fruit fly causes damage on the vines because the adult females lay their eggs in the fruit, giving rise to larvae which feeds from the pulp of the fruit; then, in approximately two days, part of the fruit collapses and opportunistic parasites, such as fungi and bacteria, settle in the damaged fruit and it starts to putrefy.
SAGARPA issued two notices related to the safeguard of these pests in other production areas; The first one aims to raise awareness of the areas under phytosanitary control, as the Pierce disease is present in the wine-growing region of Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California; Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila, Ezequiel Montes, and Queretaro.
With this notice SAGARPA declares these regions as areas under phytosanitary control, to prevent the spread of the disease to other municipalities, and sets the phytosanitary measures to be taken.
In the second notice, the SENASICA determined that the areas under phytosanitary control due to the spotted wing fruit fly being present were the municipalities of Ziracuaretiro and Los Reyes, Michoacán; Cuauhtémoc, Colima; Amacueca, Gómez Farías, Jocotepec, Zapotiltic, Sayula, Tuxpan and Zapotlán El Grande, Jalisco; Ensenada and Tijuana, Baja California; Asientos, El Llano, Jesus Maria and Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes; Irapuato and Abasolo Silao, Guanajuato, and finally, El Oro, Coatepec Harinas, Ixtapan de la Sal, Villa de Allende, Valle de Bravo, Temascaltepec, Donato Guerra and Amanalco, State of Mexico.
The notice also indicates that the phytosanitary measures to be implemented in these areas under phytosanitary control to confine and minimize the risk of spreading the pest to other municipalities.