The president of the Venezuelan Society of Agricultural Engineers, Saul Elias Lopez, said that the decrease in the production of oranges and lemons is a consequence of the expansion of the yellow dragon disease.
He urged agro-industrial specialists and members of the Venezuelan State to work to solve and address this problem. “We must urgently prioritize the problem that affects citrus trees. Otherwise, we'll, unfortunately, run out of this fruit in the country,” he stressed.
In 2021, the president of the National Federation of Fruit Growers (Fudenafrut), Carlos Romero, denounced that up to 95% of citrus fruits in the country could be contaminated by this disease.
A year later, Romero stated in an interview with Unión Radio that the plague had affected the states of Anzoátegui, Carabobo, and Yaracuy the most. Carabobo and Yaracuy are the main citrus producers in the country.
The proposal of the Confederation of Associations of Agricultural Producers of Venezuela (Fedeagro) to control the spread of the disease, which is spread by an insect called Diaphorina citri, is to eliminate all nurseries that produce uncertified citrus plants or that produce plants without any control over bacteria and viruses.
“HLB is a plant-centered disease that closes the plant's xylem and phloem until they can no longer move the sap that the plant needs to stay alive. At first, the plants decrease their production, then their nutrition decreases, and then they slowly begin to die. It takes three years for the plant to die after it's contaminated,” Romero told La Prensa Lara in October 2022.