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In Apulia Xf infected 21 million olive trees, estimates suggest

May 29, 2023 | News

Since 2013 Xylella fastidiosa has infected 21 million olive trees in Apulia, covering 8,000 square kilometers, the 40% of the Region territory, the Italian national media report.

The data rely on the estimates of Coldiretti, the most prominent farmers’ organization in Italy, included in the BeXyl stakeholders’ board. According to Coldiretti, in the last ten years, the pathogen has been spreading at a speed of 20 kilometers per year, and if the expansion of the infected area does not stop, the economic impact for Italy could be up to EUR 5.2 billion.

“If the measures indicated by scientists for the containment of the bacterium, primarily the felling of infected trees, had been followed since 2013, the epidemic would likely have been circumscribed – Donato Boscia from IPSP-CNR said to the Italian news agency ANSA – unfortunately the fake news that spread at the time heavily affected” the management strategy. “At the end of 2013 there were 80 square chilometres of land in Puglia affected by Xylella fastidiosa – Boscia added – now, after the accumulated delays in the containment measures, the area affected by the bacterium is 100 times larger”.

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