Chile's Ministry of Agriculture declares agricultural emergency over plague affecting strawberry production

The Ministry of Agriculture of Chile has declared an agricultural emergency to expedite the management of resources to fight the presence of the strawberry nematode, Aphelenchoides fragariae, which was confirmed by the SAG laboratories, with the measures adopted by the SAG in its resolution No. 4481/2022 and to support the affected producers.

"We made this decision based on SAG data that corroborates the appearance of a pest in the country's strawberry plantations that are focused in the south center. Thus, we declared an agricultural emergency for the area where this nematode is affecting the production of strawberries," stated the Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela.

The Secretary of State also added: "We are making this declaration of agricultural emergency because we are not going to leave any strawberry producer alone. Most of them are small producers from Melipilla, San Pedro, Litueche, Pelluhue, and Chanco, among other locations. We are already talking with the Dipres to redirect the ministry's own resources and, eventually, additional government resources to be able to control this pest. The INIA has been very proactive and has already detected molecules that can help combat this pest."

"The strawberry nematode is a pest that mainly affects the plant's yield. This means people can consume strawberries without any risks because it does not affect their health. The service is working from the outset with the affected producers, mainly from the regions of Maule, Metropolitan, and Valparaiso, establishing a series of sanitary measures so that they can minimize the impact on their production, as well as the dispersion of the pest," stated the national director (s) of the SAG, Andrea Collao.

"The INDAP is working collaboratively with the agricultural services to face this new emergency that could affect the production of strawberries throughout our country. We are carrying out concrete actions that will help our farmers, such as financial resources, credit support, training measures for prevention and management to avoid further dispersion of the pest," stated Santiago Rojas, the national director of INDAP.

In parallel, the INIA will support monitoring through its laboratories in the affected regions and will carry out a study of the effectiveness of molecules for the control of the nematode with the support of the Agricultural Innovation Foundation (FIA).



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