PNG WORRIED ABOUT PLANT DISEASE OUTBREAKS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 18, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Plant quarantine officials in Papua New Guinea are warning against an outbreak of plant diseases from its border with the Indonesian province of West Papua.

It's feared the diseases could have the potential to threaten the country's agriculture production.

PNG's Chief Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer, Elijah Philemon, said three plant diseases have been reported along the border areas, infecting mainly banana and citrus fruits.

He said the exact locations are yet to be confirmed but infected areas are believed to be around the Tamil and Meruk region.

Travelers are being urged not to bring in any fruits or plant material from West Papua without proper checks.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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