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Seminar on PMV®-01: Moroccan tomato growers now have a solution that protects against PepMV damage

On April 20th, Biobetter Maroc organised a well-attended seminar in Agadir to present PMV®-01, a vaccine against Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV). With more than 120 participants, local growers and sector representatives demonstrated their strong interest in a solution against this virus that is wreaking havoc on their tomato crops. Crop losses are particularly high during winter, when it really matters to be successful in the export markets. Biobetter Maroc, the Biobest Group company serving the Moroccan market with pollination and biocontrol solutions, entered into an agreement with DCM in 2014 to distribute its PMV®-01 vaccine. Backed by DCM’s strong registration file and additional local trials, the product was officially registered in Morocco in 2015. During the previous tomato season the product and its application strategy were commercially validated on 400 ha of commercial crop.

At the seminar, Dr. Inge Hanssen from DCM provided scientific background to the biology of the Pepino mosaic virus and the mechanisms behind plant vaccination. She also explained the typical symptoms and impact on the crop. Inge Hanssen: ”A sampling program conducted in collaboration with Biobetter Maroc, demonstrated widespread presence of aggressive PepMV isolates. All isolates sampled in Morocco belonged to the Chilean strain (CH2).”

The development of the PMV®-01 vaccine, field results in various countries and full details of the vaccination strategy, applied under Moroccan crop conditions were also presented, respectively by Mr. Thijs De Langhe from DCM and Mr. Julien Mourrut-Salesse from Biobest. A video presentation illustrating the PMV®-01 vaccination strategy was shown and is available on www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy4duEBKz-4.

Karim Jerate, General Manager of Biobetter Maroc, concludes: “The tomato industry is an important sector of the Moroccan economy and we’re pleased to provide a solution that will give our local growers a competitive edge to sustain growth in export markets. The field experience obtained during this tomato season was totally convincing. The product nicely complements our existing product range in pollination and biological control. Our team is fully prepared to support the growers that wish to apply our solutions. With PMV®-01 we’re not just selling a product but we’re also supporting the implementation of a carefully designed vaccination strategy. We’re pleased with the many questions and interest received during the seminar and will now be dedicating ourselves to providing each grower with full details."

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