Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jamaica Bans Sale of Citrus Plants to Control Pest

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Jamaica has shuttered all citrus nurseries across the tropical country to try and check an invasive pest that carries a fast-spreading bacteria capable of devastating its $43 million commercial industry, officials said Tuesday.

Jamaica's ministry of agriculture announced that all nurseries were closed until further notice and the sale of plants were prohibited to control the spread of the incurable "citrus greening" disease, which has hobbled citrus production in parts of China and infested millions of dead and dying trees in Florida and Brazil.

"If the disease is not managed, it can have very severe repercussions," said Alfred Barrett, program manager of the Jamaica Citrus Protection Agency. "So we're hoping that by closing the nurseries within the vector we can get it under control."

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