The "tomato moth" or "Tuta absolute " has caused 40% loss of the Las Palmas tomato production this season. While in Tenarif the total loss was stiamted to be seven million kilos of Tomato .
FEDEX (Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Exportes) spokesman estimated the total damage of the tomato production in Las Palmas could be as much as 40% of total production
The plague affects the Canary Islands since 2008, after coming from South Tenerife. "It attacks the leaf, stem and fruit of tomato," said Goiriz, with devastating effect. "It spreads quickly because a female can lay up to eight million eggs in three months," he added. Currently, we have taken measures, such as installing closed mesh or a double door in the greenhouse to try to protect the tomato during the next campaign, because "Nothing could have been done in the previous campaign," said Goiriz.
FEDEX (Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Exportes) spokesman in Las Palmas considered necessary to establish plant health checks at ports and airports in the islands.
In Tenerife, in 2009 and 470 hectares were planted in this crop has continued growing, exporting 38 million kilos. Mendoza estimates in this harvest "we will stay at 31 million, which are accounted for some 7 million loss in production."
The represantative of Aceto , the exporters' association on the island stressed that the present harvest started "late in the last week of October, and the above conditions will end in May and June. At this stage of the season in Tenerife should be exporting more than one million kilos of week, a figure that now is around 700,000 kilos.
The representative of Aceto stated that "after the rains and storm in February, shows that the yield per square meter on farms has fallen significantly." He said that "the temporal February did not greatly affect the infrastructure, but constant relative humidity greatly favored the proliferation of various pests."