New pest affecting vegetables
Dominican Agronomists’ Association (AIDA) president Cesar Matos says that the authorities have been concealing the presence of a new pest from the public. He said the pest is affecting more than 150 varieties of fruit and vegetables in the country. During an interview on the Toque Final TV program on Channel 7, Antena Latina, he said the pest was first found in La Vega cabbage and has moved on to other fruits and vegetables, adversely affecting their appearance.
He said that it was still not known what the economic impact would be but the authorities should act immediately to stop this pest from spreading. He called for the area to be quarantined.
Matos has accused Agriculture Minister Angel Estevez of responsibility for the Medfly outbreak as well as for this new infestation due to what he calls “his poor technical management.”
Nonetheless he said that ultimate responsibility for these outbreaks was not in the hands of the Ministry that had already shown its incapability. He said that instead, this is the responsibility of President Danilo Medina who is in charge of managing the country to move forward and be successful, not to be subjected to this disaster that is affecting farmers and producers.
He said that AIDA had warned the Agriculture Ministry officials about the imminent threat from these insects but they had refused to act on technical recommendations and now they should be fired.
He went on to say that it is essential to quarantine the affected area. He dismissed a recent statement by the Ministry of Agriculture that said the problem would be solved in a month. Matos said that the pests are living creatures whose behavior depended on the eco system.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference after the Panama summit last weekend, President Danilo Medina said that the government was open to putting interest payments on hold for farmers who had taken out loans from Bagricola the state agricultural bank. He also spoke of progress made by the government to stop MedFly from spreading, including the installation of traps that attract the females and eliminate them, to stop the fly from breeding. He expressed optimism that the export ban imposed by the US due to Medfly would soon be lifted.
Source: DR1, Eldia
April 14, 2015
Category: DR News |