DISASTER has struck chestnut farmers of the Genal Valley in Andalucia as the gall wasp has, as feared, infected many of the crops across the region.

Photograph by Karl Smallman
Photograph by Karl Smallman

The presence of the insect stops chestnuts growing and the plague could, at worst, destroy the area’s €10 million crop.

Yesterday, April 22, the Andalucia Junta convened with local farmers to begin formulating a strategy to fight the appearance of eggs which grow in the crop and prevent proper growth.

chestut gall wasp
The chestnut gall wasp

The picturesque mountain settlements of Igualeja, Parauta and Pujerra have all reported the presence of the insect – Dryocosmus kuriphilus to scientists – and it is likely to spread.

The only known solution, favoured by the PP party and already being set in motion by the Junta, is to introduce a predator which hunts the gall wasp.

To read reporter Iona Napier’s experience when she went up into the Genal Valley to investigate, click here.

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