On July 13, as announced, a conference on the threat of Xylella fastidiosa for olives, organized by the Spanish local grower association ‘La Unió de Llauradors I Ramaders’, took place in La Jana, a village on the eastern coast of Spain (in the province of Castellón), with the participation of three scientists from IVIA, who are members of the POnTE project: Dr. M.M. López, Dr. A. Vicent and Dr. E. Marco-Noales.
Growers showed great concern about this threat, because this region is an area with an important production of oil and, moreover, with many millenary and monumental olives that constitute a very valuable patrimony. The speakers presented the pathogen, X. fastidiosa, and the diseases caused by it, with particular emphasis on the decline that provokes on olive, the risks of a real introduction in Spain and the extension activities and research about this issue at IVIA, focusing in the POnTE project.
The room was plenty of growers, and they asked some doubts and expressed some fears they have about X. fastidiosa threat. After talks and lunch, speakers were invited to visit a natural museum, an area minor than 1 Ha that harbors 21 millenary olives, next to the Roman Via Augusta. The script of the interesting Spanish film “The olive tree” (2016, directed by Icíar Bollaín) is inspired by some events occurred in this village, and the characters are based on some relatives of the owner of old olives, who explained it to speakers with pride.
The association “La Unió” has expressed the satisfaction with the day, since many growers have commended the organization of the meeting and have encouraged promoting more extension activities in rural zones. In fact, “La Unió” has planned a new conference about the threat of X. fastidiosa in another important olive culture area, also on the eastern coast of Spain but in the south part of Comunidad Valenciana.