The first case of Xylella fastidiosa has appeared in Andalusia in ornamental plants of the Polygala myrtifolia species in El Ejido (Almería). Xylella fastidiosa is a bacteria that affects olive trees, almonds, grapes and citrus fruits, among other species. The region’s union of small famers (UPA) has appealed for calm as they believe this is but an isolated case which is totally under control. However, as on previous occasions, the UPA Andalucía wants to send a message of caution to farmers to ensure they take “extreme precautions, avoiding bad practices in the movement of plant material and always making sure that are accompanied by their corresponding Phytosanitary Passport.”
The UPA congratulated the Ministry of Agriculture on its speed in responding to the issue by calling for a meeting on Thursday, April 19 with the Bureau of Plant Health to investigate the problem. The UPA has called for an urgent action plan involving the entire sector to stop a disease that for several years now has been expanding across the Mediterranean, from Italy to the Balearic Islands and has now reached Alicante, Madrid and Almería.