Ministry Of Agriculture Bans Fruits And Vegetables From The Dominican Republic

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Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Pierre-Guy Lafontant, announced a brief ban on fruits and vegetables coming from the Dominican Republic (DR) has been instituted. The ban is necessary because the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (MFF) had been discovered on farmland adjacent to the DR's Punta Cana airport. Haiti shares a border with the DR on the island of Hispaniola, and contamination could easily happen to imported produce arriving from the DR.

A long list of banned fruits includes many citrus varieties and fruits specific to the tropics such as breadfruit. The ban also extends to vegetables: tomato, eggplant, sweet and hot pepper, cucumber and other vegetables of the same class.

The good news is the Ministry of Agriculture has implemented a program to manage fruit flies, so Haiti is well prepared if the MFF should show up. Important to note about the MFF is it is a benign pest as far as people and animals are concerned.

The MFF is known as one of the most malignant species to the integrity of contaminated fresh and processed produce. Because produce can be transported anywhere in the world today, some places in the U.S. have experienced infestations. To eliminate the pest from agricultural areas once it takes hold is a costly and time-consuming process.

The Ministry will keep the public abreast of any changes in the status of the MFF as it affects the Haitian population.

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