Kazakhstan has imposed a ban on the import of tomato and pepper seedlings from Turkmenistan. The Kazakh state inspection committee introduced the ban on 7 June with the approval of the Ministry of National Agriculture. Yesterday a note was issued, informing that the measure is was decided following the confirmation in 19 inspections of the finding of seedlings infected with the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus, known as the ToBRFV virus. This is why a veto was imposed to avoid the spread of the infection in Kazakh territory.
The ToBRFV virus, that belongs to the viral genus of Tobamoviruses, was first identified and characterized in Jordan in 2015 on tomato plants. In the fall of 2014, a new tomato disease with similar symptoms had already been reported in southern Israel from where it quickly spread across the country.
Efanews.eu explains how, during 2018, new cases were reported in tomatoes in Germany and California, in Mexico on tomatoes and chilli, in Palestine and in Italy where the virus was found on tomato plants in Sicily, province of Ragusa. It can also infect pepper plants and different types of fruit plants. The virus can also spread over a long distance through the trade of infected material such as seeds or seedlings.