THE red palm weevil pest has caused the destruction of 33,007 palm trees in Elche during the first eight months of the year. Over 600 of the palms were in the city’s historic palm grove area.
Elche’s councillor in charge of the palm grove, Antonio Garcia, has criticised the previous legislature for putting the focus on the destruction of infected palms, but the new government team (PSPV-PSOE, Compromís and Ilicitanos by Elche) is to revert to putting greater emphasis on surveillance and detection.
In this regard, Garcia noted that most of the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture to combat the plague, about €2 million, was intended for the destruction of these infected trees but the goal now, as highlighted by Garcia is “losing the least number of palm trees.”
In recent days 25 palms have been located in the historic palm grove, infected with the weevil, of which 10 will be cut and the remaining 15 will be treated.
As part of the plan to prevent more infestation, orchards in Elche most affected will be treated as a way to control infection.