Cyprus Mail

North ‘minister’ says Republic must tighten citrus quarantine

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The north’s ‘agriculture minister’ Huseyin Cavus said on Monday that the Republic “must tighten its quarantine rules” regarding the import of citrus fruit.

He made his comments in ‘parliament’ during a debate surrounding the citrus greening disease, which has been found among citrus plants on both sides of the island.

He said “the insect which cases the greening disease was first seen in Limassol. Both North Cyprus and South Cyprus, and Turkey are all unfamiliar with this insect.”

He added that the fact that the insect had first been spotted in Limassol was evidence that the Republic must tighten its rules regarding the import of citrus materials, and that “the fight against the disease can only be done in this way.”

Additionally, he said his ‘ministry’ is now conducting studies into breeding another insect which can destroy the insect which transmits the greening disease.

Also speaking on the matter in ‘parliament’, opposition party CTP Leader Tufan Erhurman said “the fight against the disease in citrus fruits must be done simultaneously with the South.”

He added, “the institutions dealing with citrus fruits must be on alert and put into effect a plan regarding the ongoing crisis.”

The crisis in question regards lower than expected revenues among citrus growers in the north, with exports of citrus fruits from the north frequently falling below projections.

Among the fruits is the mandora, a cross between the orange and the clementine which grows only in Cyprus.

On this fruit in particular, Erhurman said “the information we received from producers is that even if there was no disease, the money we received from the countries to which we export mandoras would not be at the level we desired.”

These problems occur every year around this time of year. It is time we discuss the mandora problem seriously,” he said.

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