The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) of El Salvador has declared a phytosanitary emergency due to the Huanglongbing (HLB) pest that is affecting the country's citrus.
The institution has initiated a control and eradication plan for this pest, which consists of taking samples across the country to learn about the situation of citrus plantations and verify the extent to which the productions are affected. In addition, a telephone number will be enabled so that producers can request inspections and technical support.
The plan also involves managing the purchase of reagents to conduct tests and diagnoses, strengthening the laboratory network and prohibiting the sale of uncertified plants, according to a MAG press release.
The presidential commissioner of Operations and Government Cabinet, Carolina Recinos, said that this disease was detected in previous years, but past administrations hid the problem. She said that the current Government will file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office (FGR) to investigate the case. The head of the MAG, Pablo Anliker, said that the pest was first detected in 2013.
The MAG also said that the pest only affects plantations and does not put human or animal health at risk. The fruit also represents no risk of contagion.
The disease has already been officially detected in countries of the region such as Guatemala (2009), Honduras (2010), Nicaragua (2010), Costa Rica (2011) and Belize (2009).