Los Huistas Region in Northwestern Guatemala Declared Mediterranean Fruit Fly Free Area

The Guatemalan Minister of Agriculture (MAGA) has declared as Mediterranean fruit fly free 220 000 hectares (2 200 km2) located in the northwestern border with Mexico. This achievement is part of a continued effort of the trilateral Mediterranean Fruit Fly Programme which includes the governments of Guatemala, Mexico and USA, technically backed by the IAEA, through the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture and the IAEA's Department of Technical Cooperation.

Los Huistas Region in Northwestern Guatemala Declared Mediterranean Fruit Fly Free Area The Mediterranean fruit fly was eradicated from this large area using sterile males of the Vienna-7 genetic sexing strain developed at the FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory, and produced in the world's largest insect mass rearing facility at El Pino, Guatemala. Eradication activities were outlined and supported by an international Technical Advisory Panel including staff of the Insect Pest Control Section. The initiative to develop this area as free of the Mediterranean fruit fly was also supported through an IAEA's national technical cooperation project.

The government of Guatemala issued the official declaration of eradication on 6 January 2011, according to the requirements of the international phytosanitary framework established by the FAO's International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the WTO's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement). Based on this achievement Guatemala has started negotiations with commercial partners to certify Los Huistas as Mediterranean fruit fly free to be able to export fresh fruit and vegetables grown in this region.