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Chile: First Psa-infected orchard detected in Sixth Region

The first official Psa infection has been detected in Chile's Sixth Region, which should lead kiwifruit growers in the area to strengthen their protection measures in the most active orchards and change the region's status from "free" to "affected by Psa". 

Carlos Cruzat, president of the Kiwi Committee, said: "This unfortunate detection has been made in the place where it was expected to happen because of the agro-climatic characteristics of the area. This also suggests that the bacteria may already be present in other lands of the district and the region, which entails that the presence of this disease will negatively impact kiwifruit growers of the Sixth region."



According to the Kiwi Committee, the way to deal with the bacteria is through a common strategy. Thus, on Friday 24 October, in a meeting coordinated by the grower Felipe Espinoza, former director of FEDEFRUTA, kiwifruit producer of Fruséptima and director of the Kiwi Committee, with growers from the district, held in the City of Teno, it was decided to establish a neighbourhood strategy to tackle the disease, given the detection of two new affected areas in the districts of Rauco and Teno, in the border of the Sixth Region. 

According to Cruzat, the neighbourhood strategy can be one of the ways to handle the disease locally. In that regard, he welcomed Espinoza and Fruséptima's initiative to work communally.

In this regard, it is important to note that the first 5 kilometres around an orchard where the bacteria has been detected is the area most likely to become infected due to environmental factors, mainly rain and wind, to which the risk of human contamination is also added. The latter could be the cause of the contamination of the past four orchards north of Curico.

For this reason, the Committee calls on Kiwi farmers in the region to strengthen their control measures against Psa, to keep active all monitoring procedures, to continue applying chemicals, disinfecting tools, being careful with the introduction of plant materials into the premises and training their teams; all done in the same way across the neighbourhood with the goal of containing the spread of the bacteria in the O'Higgins Region.


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