Posted: 4:11 pm, November 15, 2015 by Desk man
The European Commission says it will provide seven million euros (£5m) to fund research into a disease that poses a “very serious threat” to olive trees.
The announcement was made at a scientific workshop in Brussels that focused on the most effective ways to tackle Xylella fastidiosa.
First recorded in southern Italy in 2013, the disease has since been detected in southern France.
Experts describe it as one of the “most dangerous plant pathogens worldwide”.
The funding, which comes from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, is part of the effort to tackle the agent before it spreads more widely to other key olive-producing regions within Europe.
Globally, the EU is the largest producer and consumer of olive oil. According to the European Commission, the 28-nation bloc produces 73% and consumes 66% of the the world’s olive oil.
Closing the gaps
The workshop, convened by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on behalf of the Commission, was designed to bring together the world’s leading experts on the disease in order to help identify where further research was needed.