"Xylella fastidiosa" is considered one of the most dangerous bacteria in the world, the bacteria affects plants including olive trees and grapevines.
Rabat – The Moroccan National Health Security Office of Food (ONSSA) warns of a bacteria called “Xylella fastidiosa” which affects more than 350 plant species.
“Raising awareness among all the stakeholders concerned, as well as strengthening national technical capacities in the diagnosis and control of this plant disease.”, said the office in a statement.
The office also warns against the introduction of any plants to Morocco without the necessary phytosanitary documents.
ONSSA has set specific conditions and guidelines for importing plants susceptible to the bacteria to the country: plants likely to harbor the bacteria are not allowed for import from the countries in which the”Xylella fastidiosa” disease has been reported.
“Xylella fastidiosa” mainly affect olive trees, however, the bacteria can include a variety of other host plants.
According to the according to the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization EPPO: “Globally, the main economic hosts are grapevine (Vitis vinifera, V. labrusca, V. riparia), citrus (Citrus spp., Fortunella), almond (Prunus dulcis), olive (Olea europaea), peach (P. persica), coffee (Coffea spp.)”
Plants susceptible to ‘Xylella fastidiosa’ “may be authorized for importation from countries where the disease of this bacterium has been declared, but only from the uninfected regions”, according to ONSSA official website.
A few days ago ONSSA ordered the destruction of dozens of mint fields for the use of “unlicensed” pesticides and high levels of unapproved chemicals following a national study.