Hope for almond growers who lost trees to the Xylella Fastidiosa plague as the EU relaxes its toughest measures

ALTEA MEETING:  Mireia Molla with Alicante mayors, credit: Altea town hall

MIREIA MOLLA, regional government’s Agriculture chief, visited Altea to discuss the Xylella Fastidiosa plague.
Forty Alicante province mayors attended the meeting as Molla detailed the principal changes in EU directives to combat the plague that has attacked local almond trees, resulting in orders to uproot and destroy tens of thousands of them.
Molla explained that instead of eliminating everything within a 100-metre radius of an infected tree, this has been amended to 50 metres.
Brussels was also considering finding some use for the wood from removed healthy trees, she added.
The Agriculture department head also revealed Generalitat plans to help growers return to economically-viable activity with alternative crops.
“We have been able to demonstrate to the EU that our olive trees are not an affected species and these could be one of the options for replanting areas where almonds have been eliminated,” Molla announced.
The new Brussels directives come into effect in August and should help to alleviate the existing situation, she said.
Replanting with olives would help affected growers and, Molla pointed out, restore “marvellous landscapes” that had suffered from Xylella.

Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.