South Dade News Leader: Curbelo Working to Secure Federal Funds for South Dade Farmers Impacted By 2015 Quarantine
The impact to over 2,000 local businesses affected by the 2015 infestation of Oriental Fruit Fly continues to be felt. Eighty five square miles of the Redlands was quarantined to combat the destructive pest which attacks hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables. Growers, nurseries/stock dealers,
fruit stands, lawn maintenance, packing houses, and harvesters were affected. Florida's agriculture commissioner, Adam Putnam, declared a state of emergency and ordered fruit stripped and destroyed in areas where the flies had been found.
Losses were extensive, as most businesses don't have the cash flow to sustain such significant losses.
Congressman Carlos Curbelo has continuted to work on finding assistance for these businesses. Curbelo recently stated, “The 2015 quarantine on South Dade’s farming community took a toll on the local farmers who were unable to bring their crops to market. Though the quarantine was necessary to protect the rest of the region from the invasive Oriental Fruit Fly, our growers took a hit from which they have yet to fully recover. As our farming community works to put food on our table, they deserve for us to have their backs when disaster strikes. I’m proud to lead with my colleagues in this effort and grateful for their support of South Dade’s farming community.”
Curbelo has taken the lead in seaking funding to assist the affected farmers. Last week correspondence was sent to the chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration, & Related Agencies -
House Appropriations Committee.
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