A medfly outbreak in eastern Dominican Republic forced the U.S. to ban the import of Dominican avocados, papayas, peppers and tomatoes in March. EFE
Last week, Dominican Minister of Agriculture Ángel Estévez said that the Medfly population in the outbreak area of Punta Cana (east), which forced the U.S. in March to ban the entry of Dominican fruits and vegetables affected by the pest, has been reduced by 93%.
“To date, and after just several weeks of work, we have reduced the Medfly population by 93% in the area of the outbreak in Punta Cana, and we have managed to contain the insect within a very small area,” added the official in his statement.
In the note, the Ministry of Agriculture reported that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States (APHIS) requested additional information from the country to accelerate the process with a view to lifting the ban.
The report also confirmed that the APHIS “acknowledged” the progress made by the nation in the tackling of the Medfly outbreak, which forced the U.S. to ban the entry of Dominican avocados, papayas, peppers and tomatoes in March.
However, the ban on the import of Hass avocados and tomatoes of Dominican origin was lifted in late April, after establishing that they were not hosts to the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata).
In a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture dated 1 May, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of Phytosanitary Affairs at APHIS, Alan K. Dowdy, “acknowledged the great progress made in the Dominican Republic in the eradication of the Medfly population in Punta Cana,” said the Minister of Agriculture in the official note.
Publication date: 5/11/2015