Venezuelan citruses crop falls by 80% on “yellow dragon”

Orange farmers in Central Venezuela have been hit hard by the plague, which has ended huge plantations there.

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Venezuela’s citruses crop has dropped by 80% on dragon Amarillo, the “yellow dragon” fruit disease, the president of the Fedeagro farmers’ federation, Aquiles Hopkins, said Wednesday.

Hopkins assessed during a meeting Wednesday between Fedeagro and members of the Fedenafrut fruit growers federation in Bejuma, Carabobo state, one of the top orange-producing areas in Venezuela. “Yellow Dragon” was one of the reasons why the meeting was being held for the first time in Bejuma, Hopkins said, to find solutions to the fruit disease.

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Growers there also complained about insufficient materials and seed to continue the activity. Venezuela is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. Other threats include high crime and, first and foremost, “yellow dragon”.

Poor land management is also a problem, fruit growers’ organizer Martin Cabrera said, stressing the fact that the Chavez administration expropriated 7 million hectares of land in production, most of which now lies fallow, according to media reports.

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