The Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research (IVIA), an entity attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, has intensified an investigation seeking plant material that is tolerant to the Huanglongbing disease (HLB).
The Community's prevention, defense, and fight against this disease has had important results, such as a rapid diagnosis kit of the disease, the introduction and breeding of a parasitoid that has proven extraordinarily effective in eradicating the Tryoza vector, and a complete epidemiological study of the disease.
In addition, in recent years the Ministry has financed an ambitious research project to search for plant material tolerant to infection and the use of naturally volatile substances to better defend the plants.
The Minister of Agriculture, Isaura Navarro, participated in an event held at the IVIA facilities in Moncada, where she presented the latest advances in research to the Governing Council of the same entity.
"These results achieved by the IVIA are of great interest to the sector. We plan to present them in Brussels with the support of the Valencian Community Foundation - European Region so that the whole of Europe is aware of the danger that this disease poses and the Valencian Community's leadership in its control," stated Navarro.
The HLB disease, which was first detected in China, is causing significant damage to citrus crops in other parts of the world. However, it's still not affecting Europe.
Navarro highlighted the great job carried out by the IVIA surveilling, preventing, and managing the pests and diseases that may affect the Valencian crops in the future. Investment in these measures increased in 2023 and already exceeds 20 million euro.
The Minister also highlighted the need to integrate the knowledge generated by researchers and the technological transformation of the sector's activity, as it is fundamental "to facilitate the development of the sector and defend it from external threats, as well as to project agri-food, plant protection, sustainability, and new technologies applied in the field."