Delegates of the DG-SANTE visited the Xylella-demarcated areas in Apulia (Italy) and met local stakeholders and phytosanitary authorities

On April 15 and 16, 2019, a delegation of the Plant Health Unit of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), composed of Dorothée André, Head of the Unit, Harry Arijs, Deputy Head of Unit, and Pasquale di Rubbo, Policy Officer, visited the area of the Apulia Region demarcated as “infected” and affected by the epidemic spread of Xylella fastidiosa.

The visit, organized by Gianluca Nardone, the Head of the Department of Agriculture, Rural and Environmental Development of the Apulia Region, Bruno Faraglia, Head of the National Plant Protection Service, and Giuseppe Tedeschi, Head of the Regional Plant Protection Service, was an opportunity for the EU delegates to monitor the state of the art and the impacts of the devastating bacterial disease on the whole agricultural sector in the area (olive industry, nursery production) as well as its social and environmental implications.

Donato Boscia, representing the H2020 Research Consortia of POnTE and XF-ACTORS, joined the visiting team to provide updates on the latest scientific knowledge and research advances developed under the two Projects.

During a tour of the region, the EU delegates visited a nursery in the district of Fasano (area of containment), being among the major producers of vegetable seedlings and officinal plants, and affected olive orchards in the districts of Carovigno, Copertino, Gallipoli and Casarano.

The visiting team also included Carlo Cesaroni, from the National Plant Protection Service, Anna Percoco, Cosimo Cavallo and Angelo Delle Donne, representatives of the Regional Plant Protection Service.

The visit ended in Brindisi with a meeting of the delegates of the DG SANTE with representatives of regional stakeholders.