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Demands for tighter controls in Spain on imported olive trees from Morocco

Mon 11/06/2018 by Richard Wilkinson
olive tree

The municipal council of Castro del Rio has asked the Spanish government to restrict olive tree imports from Morocco due to the “serious” phytosanitary threat they represent. For several years now, Morocco’s olive trees have been affected by the Xylella bacterium and Spanish producers are not satisfied with the Moroccan authorities’ response.
This phytopathogenic bacterium is already wreaking havoc across Italy, Corsica and Spain and affects more than 350 plant species, including olive, plum and almond. No effective treatment is currently available other than the destruction of infected plantations.
In early 2017, the National Food Safety Authority (ONSSA) stated that the xylella fastidiosa represents “a potential danger for Morocco” even if the kingdom is “free of the bacteria.” According to the report, the host plants of the bacterium cover over 114 000 ha of citrus, 947 000 ha of olive and 160 000 ha of almond tree.

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