Government

South African citrus season expected to end normally

In a recent meeting of the EU Standing Commission regarding South African citrus, it has been reported that no additional measures have been decided on. At this point, a suspension of trade or closure of the market is not expected, but the committee will convene again in 3 weeks.

A recent FVO report appears to have been a pivotal factor in the decision made by the committee after the improvements and measures of the RMS were recognized.

However, the committee did voice some concerns about the number of interceptions that have been occurring.

It is important for South Africa to stick to our CBS processes and system to ensure that we do not again get ourselves onto the agenda, warned Deon Joubert, Special CGA envoy for Market Access & EU matters.

Joubert also thanked their friends and allies, including their Spanish friends, who assisted in the outcome.

We should now end the season normally.

For more information:

Deon Joubert

Citrus Growers Assocation

Tel: +27 21 976 58 60

Email: deonj@cga.co.za

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Soil research to help determine length of plant virus quarantine

The Northern Territory Government has committed $426,000 to research Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV), the plant disease that wiped out much of the Top End's watermelon industry.

The research aims to find out if CGMMV is still present in the soil of farms declared infected last year and how long the virus can live in soil without any host plant matter.

Minister for Primary Industry, Willem Westra van Holthe, said the results of the research are expected to inform how long the current quarantine zones around 25 Northern Territory farms will be in place.

"We don't know a lot about this disease, so putting this money in now to get this soil sample testing done, is a critical next stage in getting some more understanding about [CGMMV]," Mr Westra van Holthe said.

"It gives us an opportunity to make sure, hopefully, by 2016 we can declare areas clear of the disease and let growers get on with what they do best."

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Fish farms could prompt lawsuit against government - KING5.com

In 2012, the IHN virus infected thousands of salmon farmed in net pens in Puget Sound. Now, the Wild Fish Conservancy intends to sue the EPA and NOAA if action is not taken to develop stricter rules governing large net pens.

"They ended up pulling a million pounds of Atlantic salmon out of those pens, but those fish stayed in the water for almost two months, and during that time they're shedding huge amounts of viruses into the water," explained Todd Sandell.

Sandell is an ecologist who studies fish disease for Wild Fish Conservancy. They've released a notice of their intent to sue the the government, they say, for not taking the risks of fish farms seriously.

"If NOAA says there's not a problem, then Fish & Wildlife goes about their business," Sandell said.

Sandell believes the IHN virus outbreak in 2012 hurt wild salmon. The high concentration of fish in net pens amplified the spread of disease at a time of the year when juvenile salmon were in close proximity.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria finding their way to natural waters - The Hindu

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have proliferated in some of the natural water bodies of Kuttanad and have found way to the tiger prawns which grow there, according to a scientific analysis.

The presence of the drug-resistant bacteria was found to be comparatively higher in natural waters than in prawns grown in a farmed environment, indicating that antibiotic residues are reaching the natural systems of the region. A team of scientists from Kerala reached this conclusion after isolating nearly 1,000 strains of bacteria from both the natural and farmed environments of the prawns.

The group of researchers comprising K.M. Mujeeb Rahiman, A. A. Mohamed Hatha of the Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, School of Marine Sciences of the Cochin University of Science and Technology, and A Deborah Gnana Selvam and A. P Thomas of the School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, have come out with their conclusions in a scientific paper titled, ‘Relative prevalence of antibiotic resistance among heterotrophic bacteria from natural and culture environments of freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium Rosenbergii.’

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EU Plant Standing Committee meeting bodes well for South African citrus

A recent Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit into South African citrus imports in the EU proved to be “pivotal” at a Plant Standing Committee held Friday, according to an industry representative.

Citrus Growers of Southern Africa’s (CGA) envoy for market access and EU matters, Deon Joubert, said the committee voiced some concerns about citrus black spot (CBS) interception numbers but did not decide on any additional measures for the trade.

“The FVO report was in the end pivotal and the improvements and measures of the RMS [risk management system] were recognised – based on the FVO report conclusions,” he said.

“So the suspension of trade or closing of the market is not foreseen but within three weeks the next Standing Committee will be convened.

“We should now end the season normally.”

In response, Joubert emphasized the South African industry would continue to focus on its risk management system for the disease.

“South Africa is thankful to the EU Member States for their ongoing support and belief in South Africa’s dedication,” he said.

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Mayotte allows banana imports from Mozambique

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In fear of a banana shortage in Mayotte, the island is now allowing bananas to be imported from Mozambique (in the same way that they are already imported from Madagascar, The Comoros, Mauritius, La Réunion and the Seychelles).   The authorisation follows a risk analysis based on particular phytosanitary rules. The authorities must prove on the phytosanitary certificate that comes with the bananas that the region they are from is “unscathed” by Xanthomonas vasicola pv. musacearum, a bacteria that could destroy banana plantations.

South Africa alone on the market

The USDA calculated that there will be 7.3 percent less volume of oranges on the market this season. The decrease is visible in all production areas with the exception of South Africa, according to the American organisation. The South Africans started their season a few months ago on an almost empty world market. And South Africa is still the only big player. Europe had little stock due to the Spanish season finishing earlier. The season also ended earlier in the United States. A South Africa export advises: "Buy the Navels on time, because South Africa has limited volumes."

There are hardly any alternatives. Brazil and Uruguay have a limited volume available and Argentina is also hardly exporting any oranges to Europe.

In Australia the export is profiting from the lower exchange rate of the Australian dollar against the American dollar. This meant the export could be ramped up and the pressure on the domestic market reduced. Besides the US, Australia exports to countries in the region, for instance China. That country imports citrus unless there is domestic production. Between September and June 60 to 70% of the market is filled with Chinese oranges.

The area in South Africa is growing, but there are also clearances and new varieties planted within the existing area. Due to water scarcity the possibilities are limited. Old orange trees are replaced by new Navel varieties or mandarins.

Despite the threat of Citurs Black Spot, South Africa continues to ship volumes to Europe comparable to previous years. CBS keeps the market busy, partially because Europe has set a limit of five CBS finds in citrus max. However, it is not known what the consequences of this limit being broken would be. A boycott seems unlikely. This year the South Africans did not ship citrus to Spain. The Southern European countries finds a striking amount more CBS in parties than other European countries. Moreover, Argentina has passed the limited of five CBS discoveries and has not been affected. This is why South African growers are looking more at other markets. A number of growers have stopped exporting to Europe.

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Tomato terrorism: The big fight against a tiny predator

The list of summer’s simple pleasures is long. There is one perennial favorite. To-ma-to, to-mah-to. Our lives would be less without it. Debate the definition of fruit vs. vegetable and cast off the Supreme Court ruling of 1893. Embrace the food politics of the incorrect by lathering white bread with mayonnaise and dropping a thick cut of Big Boy with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

“The United States is very worried,” says Muni Muniappan, the director of the Virginia Tech-led Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovation Lab. He’s made the fight against this invasive pest his personal crusade. “T. absoluta is spreading and decimating tomato crops in Africa, India, Senegal, Europe, Asia…” his list of countries and continents under assault continues. In fact of the seven continents, the insect known as the tomato leafminer is moving across four with the speed of a Panzer division through Poland. Of the other three, Antarctica is safe, for obvious reasons, Australia and North America are engaged in both defensive and offensive tactics.

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Russia destroys 20 tonnes of Czech tomatoes

The Russian food embargo, declared as retaliation for Western sanctions, has caused the first Czech loss. In the Kaliningrad region, in the west of Russia, the entry of 20 tonnes of tomatoes labelled as Macedonian, although reported to have been re-exported and originally from the Czech Republic, has been prevented.

According to the Kaliningrad regional branch of the Russian Agricultural Inspection Service (Rosselchoznadzor), they managed to thwart the illegal import of 19.8 tonnes of tomatoes from the Czech Republic.

Russian officials told Interfax that no valid certificate had been issued for the tomatoes; consequently, the suspicious shipment will be destroyed.

Source: blesk.cz

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Board of Agriculture Restricts Movement of Ohia Plants from Hawaii Island

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Deadly Disease Threatens Hawaii’s Native Forests

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Board of Agriculture today approved an interim rule that imposes a quarantine on the intrastate movement of ohia plants and plant parts, including flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, twigs, cuttings, untreated wood, logs, mulch greenwaste and frass (sawdust from boring beetles) from the Island of Hawaii. Transport of such items may be only conducted with a permit issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. The interim rule will go into effect when it is published in the newspapers within 12 days and will be in force for one year.

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