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Danger from TRNC in citrus!

Turkish citrus sector, which ranks eighth in the world with an annual production of 4.7 million tonnes and exports 1 billion 112 million dollars to the world in 2023, demanded a total struggle to prevent the Psyllidi (Greening) disease seen in citrus gardens and artichoke fields in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) from spreading to Türkiye.

The citrus sector has rolled up its sleeves to prevent the greening disease seen in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) from spreading to Türkiye.

Call for a joint struggle!

Sector representatives called for a joint struggle with the participation of all stakeholders of the sector, especially the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Citrus Council, agricultural chambers, exporters’ associations, in order to eliminate the greening disease in citrus gardens in the TRNC.

Hayrettin Uçak, Head of the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association (EYMSİB), said that biological control should be initiated immediately in the citrus groves and artichoke production areas in the TRNC in order not to risk citrus production in Türkiye.

Hayrettin Uçak

“TRNC being an island is an advantage, we can eradicate the disease”

Informing that Türkiye is the 8th largest producer country in the world with an annual citrus production of 4.7 million tonnes, Uçak explained, “TRNC’s citrus production is around 100 thousand tonnes. Citrus areas in the TRNC are 2 per cent of the citrus areas in Türkiye. The fact that the TRNC is an island is in a position to facilitate the rapid results of the struggle. We can eliminate the greening disease seen in citrus gardens in the TRNC in one season by acting jointly with all stakeholders of the sector, especially the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, agricultural chambers, exporters’ associations.”

Emphasizing that the knowledge and technical infrastructure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is sufficient to combat this disease, he added, “If we do not show this will, if this disease spreads to Türkiye, then Turkish citrus producers and exporters will be hit hard. This disease had caused great damage to Florida and California citrus production in the USA in previous years. Urgent action should be taken, we should not fall into the mistake in America.”

About İsmail Uğural

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