Fundecitrus says it repudiates recent articles that claim productivity in Brazil’s São Paulo and Minas Gerais citrus belt will be reduced by 60% in the next five years due to citrus greening disease. Fundecitrus says Chilean and Spanish news portals published such reports on Nov. 14.
According to Fundecitrus, this information is not valid, nor was it ever provided by Fundecitrus. The institution has already notified both news portals to correct the reports.
Fundecitrus says one of the erroneous reports about citrus greening refers to Reuters as the source of the untrue information. “But Reuters never made such a claim,” Fundecitrus states. Rather, it says that Reuters published an article Sept. 6 saying greening spreads in Brazil’s orange groves and threatens future harvests. “Correctly, the article says that ‘an orange grove infected by greening, which is caused by a bacteria transmitted by the psyllid insect, suffers a drastic drop in productivity, which can be 60% lower compared to a healthy tree,’” Fundecitrus stated.
Fundecitrus acknowledged that if, in fact, all trees in an orchard or region were greening infected, “productivity tends to be reduced, on average, by 60% in five years.” But, it added, “it turns out that in the citrus belt of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, 125.66 million orange trees are healthy.” Consequently, Fundecitrus stated, the portal reports are “unrealistic” and “irresponsible.”
Fundecitrus says the Reuters article, covering a mathematical model coauthored by the Citrus Consultants Group and AgriPlanning, says that in five years the drop in production would be 12%, not 60%.
Fundecitrus is an association maintained by citrus growers and juice manufacturers from the state of São Paulo to foster the sustainable development of the citrus industry.
Learn more here about the incidence of citrus greening disease in the Brazilian citrus belt.
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