The popular ones demand to reactivate the cultivation of the prickly pear to stop a plague that advances “uncontrolled” on the Island and affects the unhealthiness of the citizens, especially in the South
Dactylopyus opuntiae. It is the scientific name of mexican cochineal, a plague spread throughout the insular geography, especially on the southern slopes, which has been seriously affecting pencas for a few years. The People’s Party in the council raises “the urgency” of ending the prickly pear plague. He believes that it is possible to reactivate the cultivation of the plant and seek the use of its derivatives in the cosmetic and food industry. This will be defended by the popular councilor Valentín González Évora, through a motion to the Plenary Commission for the Natural Environment and Primary Sector. The PP will defend similar initiatives in all municipalities.
The initiative proposes that the island institution promote an initiative, in collaboration with all areas of the administration – Government of the Canary Islands and City Councils – to eliminate the mexican cochineal plague which, González explains, “is already out of control throughout the South of Tenerife and is destroying the prickly pears in both rural and urban environments.”
This plague not only kills the prickly pears it affects, but it produces unhealthy situations for the neighbors and its rapid advance affects schools, businesses and restaurants. González Évora values that “we intend that the proposal be supported by all political groups, and that action be taken urgently to solve a situation that worries farmers, neighbors and businessmen throughout the region, since this introduced pest causes strong odors and the presence of a large number of insects around».
Given this circumstance, the Popular Party in the Cabildo proposes that the insular institution urge the Canary Islands Government in collaboration with the Cabildo itself and the Island Councils, so that, imminently, concrete actions are carried out for the control of the expansion and eradication of the plague of Mexican cochinealwhich has been introduced in public and private spaces in Tenerife, through advisory programs by technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, enabling a line of economic aid to meet the expenses derived from these actions.
On the other hand, as González Évora advances, “we are going to propose to the Commission that a plan be activated to recover the prickly pear cropas well as promoting the use of this plant, since apart from the fruit itself or the Canarian cochineal, there is a range of derived products that are highly valued in the cosmetic and food industry”.
González emphasizes that “our training will defend similar initiatives in the Island Councils where we are represented, understanding that it is an issue whose solution should not be limited by a matter of competence, since the solution must be approached from the point of island view.
In short, the Popular Councilor concludes, “it is a matter of ensuring that this crop, great cultural, landscape and environmental importance, be more attractive and more economically profitable, both for farmers who are already engaged in it and for others who want to diversify their productions».
The Mexican cochineal from Las Tuneras (Dactylopyus Opuntie) is detected for the first time in Spain in 2007, in Murcia. The plague is today present in almost the entire Mediterranean arc. In the Canary Islands it appeared for the first time in 2010, on La Palma, specifically in Fuencaliente, and from there it moved north. At the end of 2019, a focus was found in Tenerife, in El Rosario. Three years later it colonizes the entire southern slope from this municipality to Arico.