The Federation of Fruit Producers expressed its concern about the threat that the Prunus necrotic spot virus poses for the Chilean cherry industry, as it could cause them to lose plantations and part of the international market that buys this product.
In an interview with the newspaper La Tribuna, the president of Fedefruta, Jorge Valenzuela, said that, even though the virus' incidence in the country is still being studied, they were already studying the cherries that have the virus to contain and control it. "This virus is constantly found in fruits, but it doesn't always present symptoms," Valenzuela stated.
"Fedefruta is working with the association of exporters and the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) to teach producers what the symptoms of this virus are so they can identify it and know how to treat it," he stressed. This will allow producers to carry out tests to detect the virus in time and stop its spread in the different agricultural properties that could face this problem.
However, one of the great difficulties that Fedefruta faces is that there still is no method to treat the virus. Thus, producers should remove the trees that show any symptoms from the orchards.
The Federation has proposed certain guidelines to face this agricultural disease in crops: "Healthy trees can defend themselves better against the virus if they have good agronomic management." Thus, they recommend keeping the orchards in good sanitary conditions, as the first measure to combat the virus.
The union leader also asked agricultural producers not to panic: "We have restrictions in China, but we must make good selections so that there are no problems with the country later on."
Valenzuela highlighted the joint work being developed between the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association AG (Asoex), Fedefruta (National Trade Union Federation of Fruit Producers), and the Chinese Government to eradicate the disease as soon as possible.