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Trade Winds expects growth despite citrus greening
2012-10-12 14:01:40 | (0 Comments)
Trade Winds Citrus Limited, producers of Tru-Juice and Freshhh orange juice, is forecasting an increase in production of the fruit this year, having embarked on a programme to curtail the effects of citrus greening.
Fruits affected by citrus greening - File
“If the continuation of the recommended nutritional programme is carried out to control the vector (carrier) of the disease,” the company will remain in citrus production, a release quoted programme manager for the Citrus Protection Agency, Alfred Barrett as saying during a tour of the company’s plant in Bog Walk, St. Catherine on Thursday.
The fruit disease was first identified in Jamaica in 2009 and is now found throughout the island.
It has caused many citrus farmers to abandon their farms, and within a three month period 10,000 plants affected by the disease had to be pulled from production at Trade Winds farm.
The release said Trade Winds Citrus produced about 310 boxes annually prior to 2009 but last year only 215 boxes were reaped.
However, treating the citrus greening disease has resulted in a 40 per cent increase in production at Trade Winds Citrus, the release said.
“Our forecast for this year is 280 boxes and we are well on our way to meeting that target. If it gets to 450, I’m smiling,” said Peter McConnell, managing director of Trade Winds Citrus.
According to McConnell if production continues at this rate, the company could match output in Florida at about 600 boxes.
“Because citrus greening starves the plants, we had to get more food to them. Now they are really doing well,” McConnell added.
David Taylor, farm manager said proper management of the disease has led to a boost in production levels and growth.
He adds that safe and effective pest control, field sanitation and a nutritional programme have all worked to make a better surrounding for the plants to grow healthily.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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