Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The Olive Threat.

With monoculture – the practice of planting a single, extended crop – comes a higher profit, but at the same more risk. The gigantic and extended olive tree population of Spain could become the next cash-crop to be in danger. As Iberia Nature says, ‘...Spain is by some way the country with the highest number of olive trees (more than 300 million), in the world and is nowadays the world's leading olive and olive oil producer and exporter. Of the 2.1 million hectares (5.19 million acres) of olive groves, 92% are dedicated to olive oil production...’. Now, according to El Periódico, a destructive bacteria, known disturbingly as ‘the Ebola of the Olive Tree’, has been found in a Valencia plantation in Guadalest, Alicante. The bacterium spreads rapidly and dries out the trees by inhibiting the passage of the sap. The ecologists are working hard to contain the outbreak of xylella fastidiosa, while being aware that the olive oil business in Spain is worth at least 1,886 million euros annually.
Worse still, the plague doesn’t only attack the olive trees; it also will dry out citrus trees, plum, peach, almonds and grape-vines.

1 comment:

Brett Hetherington said...

Hi Lenox,

It's a very worrying problem you highlight here. I live in a little town surrounded by grapevines and the thought of them having this bacteria is an awful one. I hate to think what it would do to the Spanish agriculutural economy and people's livlihoods if it is left unchecked.

Let's hope "they" (ie. the various authorities) get it under control very quickly.