Xylella Fastidiosa
Current situation and consequences

Xylella Fastidiosa is a bacterium with no known cure that affects hundreds of plant species, both agricultural, such as almond trees, and also forest and ornamental trees. It is a bacterium that is found in the xylem and multiplies inside the vessels, blocking them and obstructing the flow of crude sap, which then causes symptoms such as the burning of leaves and shoots and the generalized wilting of the tree, corresponding with a lack of water or lack of nutrients.

Uno de los insectos transmisores de la bacteria. "Philaenus spumarius"

In order to combat Xylella, and following a European directive, the Generalitat Valenciana launched a Contingency Plan based on the eradication of almond trees.

The first outbreak of Xylella Fastidiosa that affected Alcalalí was published in DOGV on July 17, 2017. From that moment onwards, the Eradication Program began to be executed, including, amongst other measures, the elimination and destruction in situ of infected plants and those within a radius of 100 m susceptible to the subspecies of xylella fastidiosa, and including the prohibition of replanting these fields for at least 5 years.

This eradication program having been in force during the last 4 years has had disastrous consequences for Alcalalí. Dozens and dozens of terraces of almond trees in full production have been uprooted and the trees crushed, greatly aggravating the already very fragile situation in the agricultural sector.

Almendro infectado con Xylella Fastidiosa. © IVIA

Almond cultivation in Alcalalí does not only have an agricultural dimension. It is one of our greatest landscape values, a hallmark of our neighbors who from generation to generation have guarded the territory.

On the other hand, Alcalalí has made a great effort to publicize its greatest tourist attraction - the flowering of the almond trees during the month of February with the celebration of "Feslalí, Alcalalí in flower". In the last edition held before the pandemic, in 2020, more than 10,000 people visited us.

The strategy of eradication of our almond trees, compared with a proposal for containment plans that would allow us to coexist with the Xylella, as proposed by local producers, has had a very negative impact on our agriculture, on the local economy and has been an attack on the landscape already one of our most recognized tourist products. It has also caused a significant feeling of vulnerability and powerlessness on the part of farmers.

We are rethinking our relationship with the land as a necessary and urgent action, establishing plans to implement crops that are both respectful of the environment and we are also committed to organic, local and quality products. We offer ourselves to the Ministry of Agriculture as the ideal place in which to pilot experiences of reintroduction of almond cultivation, tolerant to the plague, in those fields that have been devastated, and also in others that are not currently in production.

El paisatge d'Alcalalí abans de la Xylella Fastidiosa

In Alcalalí we do not give up. We love our land, that's why we are resisting all this - and will continue to resist. In this our 6th Feslalí "Alcalalí sense flor" we want to reclaim our most emblematic crop, honour the work of our farmers and show respect for the territory. Under the motto "Feslalí, #AlcalalíSenseFlor" we offer you, with the same enthusiasm as previous fiestas, a program of activities, from February 5 to 20, so that you can visit us, get to know us, enjoy yourselves and lose yourselves in corners full of culture and history.

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© Feslalí “Alcalalí sense flor” 2022 • Ajuntament d’Alcalalí • C/ Major, 10 • 03728 Alicante • T. 966 48 20 24 •