New Zealand bans some Australian fruit and vegetables
Authorities confirmed the detection of Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) on watermelons produced in the Northern Territory a fortnight ago. As a result, they opted to suspend some imports from August 20 onwards.
CGMMV is a soil-borne plant virus that affects cucurbits such as watermelons, pumpkins, zucchinis and cucumbers. It is not harmful to humans.
The plant virus was first detected in the Northern Territory's Katherine region back in 2014. At that time it decimated the lucrative watermelon industry, costing an estimated $60 million.
The virus has recently been discovered on farms in Queensland and Western Australia. It is extremely difficult to eradicate from the soil once it is present. ■