On 21 November, the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHEAM) hosted the III Technical Plant Health Forum. Over 250 professionals from the field of plant health took part in the event, including technical experts from the Government of Aragon, cooperatives, professional organizations, phytosanitary product distributors and technicians from different public administrations.
The forum was organized by the Aragon Centre of Plant Health and Certification to discuss current and future plant health challenges, including one of the greatest causes for concern in recent years: Xylella fastidiosa.
This bacterium affects multiple crops and was detected for the first time in Spain in the Balearic Islands at the end of 2016. Several outbreaks have also been located in the province of Alicante. National experts in the topic addressed the current situation of the disease in Spain, explaining how it is affecting the regions where its presence has been detected and discussing how it can be controlled.
Participants included members of the Agrofood Research and Technology Centre of the Government of Aragon, and from the plant health services of the Government of the Balearic Islands and the Government of Valencia, as well as the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment.
The Aragonese Phytosanitary Surveillance Networks have been constituted recently as a result of the measures established in the Rural Development Programme of Aragon. They presented various experimentation assays in the forum.
The Director General for Food and Agrofood Development, Enrique Novales Allué, closed the forum, underlining the importance of this type of workshop and highlighting the efforts being made to carry out intensive surveillance for Xylella fastidiosa.