Chile: Coquimbo declared free of fruit fly

The Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Furche, decreed the region of Coquimbo was free of fruit flies.

Furch made the announcement as part of the closure of the program to eradicate this harmful insect population, which allowed decreeing the area as a free zone after eight months of work.

To achieve this, the SAG had to work on surveillance for three life cycles of the fly. In November, they were able to prove to the international markets that the fruit fly was eradicated and decree that the region was free of this pest.

Thus, it was possible to lift the quarantined areas and remove the restrictions on the movement and export of fruit while maintaining the country's free of the pest status.

"Being free from the fruit fly is one of our main competitive advantages. Chile is the only South American country that is completely free of this pest and maintaining that condition is absolutely essential so that our fruit production can reach its full potential," Furche stated.

Currently, Chile exports 5,000 million dollars in fresh fruit, and nearly 500 million of these exports come from the Region of Coquimbo.

"It is essential to maintain this condition. Thus, it is necessary that we have clear protocols for action in case an event is detected, such as the one we had eight or ten months ago. That is exactly what happened here and it represented a public investment of 900 million," he said.

A total of 29 specimens of the fly were captured and 19 larvae were detected in this outbreak, which led to the deployment of over 250 SAG officials working in pest control.

In addition, more than 6 tons of fruit from the orchards of La Serena, in the 7.2 kilometre quarantined areas, were analysed.


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