Awareness Campaign Battles HLB in Brazil

Jim Rogers Brazil, HLB Management

Brazil’s Fundecitrus in 2022 and 2023 conducted an awareness campaign to replace citrus and myrtle plants to combat HLB in the municipality of Itobi, São Paulo. The citrus and myrtle plants were replaced with other fruit and ornamental species that do not host the Asian citrus psyllid that transmits HLB, also known as greening disease.

awareness campaign
The awareness campaign included lectures at elementary schools and providing oranges to students.

These citrus and myrtle plants located in public areas such as squares, backyards and walkways are sources of breeding for the psyllid. The psyllid manages to fly long distances and migrates to commercial orchards, making it difficult to control the disease, inside and outside of farms.

In all, 422 myrtle trees were replaced at more than 230 locations in Itobi. The action had the support of the municipality of Itobi and other authorities.

The effort included meetings with citrus growers, who addressed the importance of citrus growing for the region, and how HLB can cause negative impacts on the economy and job creation in the municipality.

Awareness lectures were held in municipal, state and private schools for 900 elementary school students. In addition, citrus growers in the region provided oranges that enriched the diet in schools, and also donated 600 seedlings of ornamental varieties that were planted in the city.

For Fundecitrus agronomist Arthur Tomaseto, the work of replacing myrtles and citrus was essential and will contribute to the reduction of psyllid sources in the region.

“According to the latest Fundecitrus survey, the orchards in the Casa Branca region have an incidence of about 50% greening, and this action allows us to bring more knowledge to the entire population,” Tomaseto said. “The awareness of the city’s residents, the support of public authorities and the mobilization of citrus growers contribute to maintaining the health of the local citrus industry and controlling the disease.”

Source: Fundecitrus

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