In collaboration with FiBL, the Swiss supermarket chain Coop has developed solutions to stem Citrus Greening disease. Thus, organic citrus fruits can be produced organically in the future.
Research on healthy citrus fruits
At Veracruz, Mexico, about 5 percent of the trees are infected with Citrus-Greening disease. This disease results in deformed fruits, yellow leaves and fruits with a low juice content, which has a low sweetness and a rather bitter taste.
Research by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) has shown that beneficial organisms such as a certain species of fungus or wasp contribute to a significant reduction of the citrus leaf flea, which transmits the disease to the trees. Furthermore, planting with native wild flora, nutrient inputs from biochar and sowing organic fertilizer to increase soil fertility are effective methods that will be further tested in the fight against Citrus-Greening disease.
Thanks to FiBL research, several adaptations are now underway. It has developed solutions so that farmers can continue to produce organically in the future. The regional orange juice production plant is currently implementing the successfully tested crop protection strategies on 200 organic citrus farms. "We support FiBL in further research because a holistic control of the disease is important in order to maintain the high quality of our bio-citrus organic juice."
Source : Coop Schweiz