Santa Margalida.— The town council in Santa Margalida has been compiling a dossier of complaints from local almond growers who have become increasingly concerned over disease affecting the trees this summer.

A letter has been sent to the Balearic Ministry for Agriculture asking for assistance in what has become a serious problem for those depending on the annual almond crop.

Santa Margalida's Mayor Miquel Cifre said yesterday: “The growers are really worried, and by default the rest of us at the council are worried because the almond crop is really important to Santa Margalida.” He said that the growers don't have any information on the disease which is affecting the trees and are therefore in special need of assistance from technicians at the Ministry for Agriculture. Cifre said that he was hoping for a positive response from the ministry. He claimed that politicians only tend to think of the countryside of Majorca in picture postcard terms. “It isn't enough for government just to think of our almond trees when they are flowering in late winter, they need to be protected all year round.” Three years ago in the eastern Llevant district of the island, a mysterious fungus caused the death of hundreds of almond trees. Ministry technicians were sent to investigate and it appeared the fungus was previously unknown on Majorca and in fact could only be traced to tropical regions of the globe. Treatment rescued some trees but for others it was too late. In Santa Margalida, it is unclear whether the condition affecting the almond orchards this summer is the same.

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