The Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture published in the Official Gazette of the Andalusian Board (BOJA) the requirements to access compensation for losses caused by the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) in crops due to the application of the obligatory phytosanitary measures adopted for the control and eradication of the pest in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.
In addition to the conditions for receiving subsidies, the BOJA also published the scales to calculate the aid. Specifically, the compensation refers to both the costs of the process of removing plant material from greenhouses (up to 7,000 euro per hectare) and the value of the production that was destroyed or not collected (0.38 euro per kilogram of tomato).
In the latter case, the technicians of the Territorial Delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture are in charge of quantifying the losses through their visit to the farms. The amount corresponding to each farm is established based on a maximum production of 13 kg / m² for long cycle greenhouse tomato crops and 8 kg / m² for short-cycle crops.
The rugose tomato virus is a harmful organism that especially affects tomato and pepper crops, whose greenhouse cultivation has a great weight in Andalusia and, above all, in the provinces of Almeria and Granada. It was first identified in Jordan in 2015 and has subsequently been detected in the United States, Mexico, Turkey, and China. In Europe, it has been detected in Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. In Spain, it was first detected in 2019.
The pest risk analysis carried out in Italy showed that this harmful organism could pose a major phytosanitary problem for the European Union. As a result, last year the European Commission published an Implementation Decision with emergency measures to prevent the introduction and spread of this virus in the EU.
Among other measures, this community regulation establishes the need for the Member States to carry out surveys aimed at detecting the possible presence of this organism. In addition, it makes it mandatory to verify that the material destined for tomato and pepper plantations is free of ToBRFV and to have a phytosanitary passport for its movement.
After the virus was detected in the municipality of Vicar (Almeria) in November 2019, the Andalusian Government established the control measures that had to be adopted in the Autonomous Community, including the destruction of the affected crops.