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Fly triggers high alert over Taiwan fruit

  时间:2006-03-13 10:05    来源:     

A species of fly carried by fruits imported from Taiwan has resulted in economic losses of 1 billion yuan (US$123 million) per year in East China's Fujian Province, a top political adviser told China Daily.

Chen Jiahua, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has appealed for the strengthening of quarantine inspection over fruits imported from Taiwan.

The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), causes severe damage to fruits and vegetables.

It is widespread through much of the mainland of Southern Asia, neighbouring island countries and regions including China's Taiwan.

Fujian began to import fruits from Taiwan across the Straits five years ago, according to Chen.

However, due to the lack of sufficient quarantine examinations, the fly was introduced to Fujian.

"The fly has invaded the local ecological system in Fujian," said Chen, a professor at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University.

The tiny insect has caused great losses in the coastal province, by damaging vegetables, fruits and flowers.

Eighty per cent of local orange trees have been felled due to the invasion of the fly, according to Chen.

"This is because the amount of the flies has increased so much," said Chen.

There is no natural predators of the fly locally.

"The problem is serious and urgent now as farmers' incomes and local agricultural development have been negatively influenced by the 'invaders'," Chen said.

He put forward a proposal on this issue last year.

The Ministry of Agriculture gave a reply, saying that the fly has been listed among animals that are harmful to plants.

It added that local agricultural departments would adopt effective measures to prevent and control the spread of the fly.

"However, I have not seen any government actions to cure the invading insect," Chen said.

He warned that if the government did not attach great importance to the quarantine of imported fruits from Taiwan, the natural disaster would expand to other regions of the country.

The Chinese mainland dropped import tariffs on 15 categories of Taiwan-grown fruit in August last year.

As a result, fruits grown in Taiwan have been sold in many other regions in China, such as Beijing and Shanghai.

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