The Dominican Republic declares itself free of the Mediterranean fly

The Minister of Agriculture, Angel Estevez stated that there were more than 120 countries affected by the Mediterranean fly and that the Dominican Republic was one of the 14 countries that had managed to eradicate the Mediterranean Fly (Ceratitis capitata, Wiedemann), thanks to the contribution of 12 million dollars from the Dominican Government, and to the technical and financial support of international organizations.

Estevez said that "resolution 2017-11 declares the Dominican Republic is a country free of the Mediterranean Fly, as more than 23 weeks have passed without any captures of any of the insects biological states, which is equivalent to 6 of the plague's cycles."

The Minister made the announcement during a meeting with Dominican authorities and representatives of the competent agencies of an international nature, such as: USDA, APHIS, FAO, OIRSA and IICA, who supported and endorsed the declaration. The minister said, after having first detected this pest in the country, they had managed to improve the country's quarantine and health systems.

He said that they had been able to establish a permanent monitoring system in the country based on international protocols to control the entry of pests from foreign territory and to take the necessary quarantine measures, thanks to the support of the President of the Republic, Danilo Medina, and the international agencies, such as USDA-APHIS, IAEA, IICA, and MOSCAMED Guatemala, among others.

The meeting was attended by Senator Amilcar Romero; Deputy David Herrera, representative of the Chamber on Agricultural Affairs; Aldo Malavasi, the director general of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Luis Longoria, the director of the Technical Cooperation Section for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Atomic Energy Agency; David Midgarden, the director of APHIS in the Caribbean, and Carmelo Gallardo, country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The representative of IICA in the country, Frank Lam; the director of OIRSA, Efrain Medina, congressmen, several ambassadors, government authorities, producers, exporters, and technicians from different entities were also present at the meeting.

Aldo Malavasi, Director of the IAEA's Department of Nuclear Science and Applications said that "the Mediterranean fly is one of the most damaging agricultural pests in the world, the insect attacks hundreds of fruit and vegetable varieties and spreads very quickly." He said that a female fly could lay more than 300 eggs, and in just six months a population could settle in a country like the Dominican Republic.
At the end of the activity, Minister Estevez said that thanks to this experience, the country now had a permanent phytosanitary surveillance structure with budgetary autonomy, which guarantees the rapid detection and control of any pest introduced by the quarantine entrance points.


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