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Fig 3b
February / March 2024

Development of the CRI Rootstock Seed Farm

SA Fruit Journal: February / March 2024

Budwood and rootstock seed are produced at the CFB farm outside Kariega and shipped across Southern Africa. By Jacolene Meyer, Mpaballeng Mlangeni, Michael Nell and Paul Fourie

The Citrus Improvement Scheme (CIS) ensures the availability of disease-free budwood that is horticulturally true to type and of superior quality, for the propagation of trees in SA.

The CFB is surrounded by a 5 km buffer zone prohibiting the cultivation of citrus and related genera, as promulgated under Regulation 110 of the Agricultural Pest Act. This buffer zone is regularly inspected to ensure compliance. Trees for budwood production are cultivated in insect-secure structures.
Despite these measures, an international peer review of the CIS in 2016 highlighted the risk that detection of a quarantine pest in the CFB seed source trees might lead to the budwood sources being placed under quarantine. The trees are planted in orchards next to the insect-secure structures. Rootstock seed orchards are closely monitored by trapping and scouting, and subjected to comprehensive pest and disease control programmes, but cannot be grown in insect-secure structures to better manage the risk of a pest or disease incursion. This biosecurity risk had to be managed, in preparation for incursion of HLB or other exotic pests or diseases.

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