In the first year after the Xylella outbreak in southern Italian olive trees, 8,000 hectares were infected. Now, five years later, more than 275,000 hectares are suffering the bacterial disease.
So far a total of 7,775 square kilometres has been demarcated. In this zone are growing approximately 25 million trees for olive production.
These facts were presented last week at a special Xylella conference held at Flormart in Padua. „We cannot eradicate Xylella”, said Gianni Cantele, president of Coldiretti Puglia. „We have to live with it and accept the bacterial disease. But scientific research must continue to find solutions to this problem.”
Italian nurseries free of Xylella
The association of exporting Italian nurseries ANVE, who organized the conference, stated that the entire Italian ornamental industry is still free of Xylella. „But we have big concerns”, said president Leonardo Capitanio.
The ANVE is not only concerned about the spreading of the disease. „We are also concerned about foreign buyers who read fake Xylella news from the internet, and that you therefore should stop importing trees and plants from Italy.”
Earlier the ANVE stated that all Italian nurseries are free of Xylella. Elsewhere in the EU the disease was found on nurseries. „Everybody should take Xylella news from official sources, like the European Commission and international research institutes.”
Picture: Arno Engels