The prickly pear in Turkish occupied north is at risk from insect infestation in the Varoshia area, the Turkish Cypriot press reported on Monday.
It said that the problem was first spotted in the walled city of Varosha three years ago, but the Turkish occupation army had until recently refused to give permission to spray against the scale insect (Dactylopius opuntiae) and the infestation had spread.
Citing a report on the website gazetta Kibris, Afrika newspaper said that with the insect infestation spreading, experts are asking for action.
The site also stressed the importance of the prickly pear to the local diet and the fruit’s many beneficial effects — including to improving blood circulation and helping in weight loss.
The site quoted an agronomist as saying that the problem has taken on frightening dimensions. For this reason, agronomists met with Famagusta ‘municipality’, the so called agriculture ministry in the Turkish held north and the Turkish occupation army and drew up a plan of action.
“There is a lot of destruction,” he said. He added that the Varosha area and the fenced city of Famagusta had been sprayed in June, but no checks were carried out to see how effective it had been.