Archive for the ‘Emerging/invasive pests’ Category

Editors note: The below Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safer Use Action Plan was prepared by the Feed the Future IPM Innovation Lab, and submitted to USAID, as required to utilize insecticides in the project designed to develop strategies to manage Tuta absoluta in Nepal. I have included it in the Global Plant Protection News because 1) it can serve as a model for a similar PERSUAP for another country and 2) it contains a wealth of information regarding the current status, biology and management of Tuta absoluta.

E. A. Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

Asia Program Manger, IPM Innovation Lab

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Kenya has launched a campaign to control the Fall Armyworm, (FAW) which has been sighted by farmers feeding on Maize in Trans Nzoia County, Kenya. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr. Willy Bett said the pest poses a serious threat to the country’s food security situation. “Its impact will be severe given that the country is just […]

via CABI working with Partners to Manage Fall Armyworm in Kenya — The Plantwise Blog

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Agriculture Sector

Agriculture is a key sector in the Yemeni economy, providing the main source of employment for 54% of the population and producing 17.5% of the gross domestic product in 2010. The major agricultural products include fruits (999,256 t), vegetables (1,032,414 t), and cereals (863,934 t), but productivity and production are low and rarely sufficient to meet domestic demand. The financial crisis in 2009, and the subsequent drop in oil prices, and current political turmoil has driven the country to the brink of economic collapse, especially the agricultural research activities. Among the many problems in Yemen, food insecurity is the most serious.


Plant Protection Sub-Sector

The plant protection sub-sector, in Yemen, has been severely affected by the tragic events. The Tehama Development Authority and three agricultural research stations, including departments of plant protection, and, one honeybee center, have been destroyed and/or totally looted. The financial crisis has hit the entire agricultural sub-sector stopping most (99%) of current foreign/international and local funded research and activities. In addition, the government has not paid the salaries of most of the employees including the agricultural sector, and educational sector. Meanwhile, there is an increase in the cost of agricultural inputs due to an increase in the exchange rate of foreign currencies, and corruption.

What is the solution?


  1. Financial crisis- Funding must be allocated for salaries and the replacement of destroyed facilities of the plant protection sub-sector. This could be performed by the re-building of infrastructures, supporting the revitalization of programs and activities, and to encourage investment in the field of plant protection.


  1. Education level: The educational level of farmers in Yemen is generally quite low; the illiteracy rate in Yemen is 48%. This has resulted in the use of incorrect practices to control pests and manage honeybees, using extensive application of pesticides, and a lack of awareness among farmers of the importance of integrated pest management. For this reason, we must initiate a vast awareness campaign before attempting to promote IPM packages.
  1. Invasive exotic, migratory and cross-border insects and endemic diseases-: The following are major threats to production and management strategies must be developed.


The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliv. was first recorded in Yemen in 2013 and has recently become one of the major date palm pests in Yemen. The infestation is currently in three directorates in Hadhramout governorate (Eastern plateau zone), a major area for palm cultivation. An emergency project has been launched by FAO in Yemen to manage this pest.

The South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta Meyrick, first reported in Yemen in 2012 has been recorded on 304 farms in 88 districts. About 70 percent of the tomato crop examined was infested with the pest. Without an effective control program, potential damage to Yemen’s vegetable crop could exceed $300 million.


Dubas bug, Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin is a serious sucking pest of date palm. It was recorded in 2002. It has disrupted production in the eastern coast and plateau zones. It causes direct and indirect damage to palm and cultivated trees under date palm.


Wheat rust disease, Ug99 is a lineage of wheat stem rust spread from Africa, Uganda-Kenya to Yemen in 2006. In the key wheat growing areas of the country, during October 2010 to March 2011, stem rust was widespread in the highlands and western areas. Due to the current conflict the current status of stem rust races in the conflict-ridden areas of Yemen are unknown.


Desert locust. Locust monitoring, early warning and preventive control measures are believed to have played an important role in the decline in the frequency and duration of plagues since the 1960s; however, today climate change is leading to more frequent, unpredictable and extreme weather and poses fresh challenges on how to monitor and respond to locust activity. The conflict is severely hampering control operations and the locust thus poses a potential threat to crops in the region.

  1. Apiculture- Honey is a high value crop in Yemen. In 2013, production was 2,614 t, and revenue about 19,611 million2. Apiculture in Yemen faces many problems, and productivity is the lowest as compared to other Arab countries. In the conflict-ridden areas, the situation is the worst it has ever been. This is due to the limitation and/or restriction of beekeepers’ mobility between locations of bee forage plants, targeting apicultures and beekeepers’ by airstrikes or looting, and high prices of apicultural inputs and transport.


  1. Protected cultivation- In recent years, protected cultivation (plastic tunnels) has significantly increased, even in the conflict-ridden areas. They are most often used in the northern, central and southern highland zones of Yemen. They are used extensively for cash crops, mainly cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries. Protected cultivation could be the agricultural future and one of important technologies to reduce food insecurity and improve the incomes of rural households in Yemen. However, here is a lack of information on the proper use protected cultivation and the problems that farmers face such as the extensive use of pesticides.


  1. Quarantine- Activation of plant quarantine measures at functioning ports, instead of destroyed ports, is very important in the current situation as quarantine is the first defense against exotic insects and diseases.


7. Pesticides- Pesticides are extensively and incorrectly used to control pests, particularly on khat/gat and vegetables (mostly under protected cultivation). About 1,152, 963 t of pesticides were imported during 2013. Pesticides cause a negative impact on humans and the environment resulting in 16,000-17,000 cancer cases each year in Yemen. In addition, agricultural exports are sometimes rejected because of a high value of pesticide residue. Therefore, increasing the monitoring measures and revisions in the pesticide regulations, and farmer training are necessary.



Yemen’s agricultural sector has significantly shrunk mainly due to the current conflict and this has negatively affected the plant protection sub-sector. The investment in the plant protection sub-sector is one of the keys to increase agricultural production and productivity resulting in food security and to improve the livelihood of Yemenis. The emerging issues 1)the financial crisis, 2) educational level, and 3) management of exotic insects and diseases and honeybees are high priorities that must be given consideration and urgent intervention by the plant protection sub-sector.


Maher A. Moraiet                         Sana’a, Yemen- April 16, 2017

Division of Entomology

Department of Plant Protection

Agriculture Research Station – Seiyun

Agricultural Research and Extension Authority

P.Box :9041 Seiyun, Hadramout, Yemen

Email: maher.moraiet@gmail.com

Yemen 1

Destruction of the Agricultural Research Station, Bajl- Hodeidah  

 Yemen 2

Direct shelling of of screen houses at Imran

 Yemen 3

Direct shelling of agricultural research fields – Yarm – Ab 

Source: http://agricultureyemen.com

Yemen 4     Yemen 5

The scene of destruction and looting of the Agricultural Research Station in Bajl- Hodeidah – Alcod, after the war with Qada in Abyan, Yemen

Source: www.adengd.net

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Red beetle threatens the global production of dates and coconuts

A little red beetle that devastates palm is rapidly spreading around the
world and threatens the production of dates and coconuts, unless we manage to stop its advance.
Scientists, experts in pest control, agricultural ministers and representatives of farmers participating in a three-day meeting that began today at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome will discuss and define a plan for international action to stop the spread of the red palm weevil. The pest attacks the date palms and coconut trees, as well as ornamental palms found in many European cities.
Over the past three decades, the weevil has spread rapidly through the Middle East and North Africa, affecting almost the entire region. It has already been detected in more than 60 countries including France, Greece, Italy, Spain and parts of the Caribbean and Central America.
“The red palm weevil is the most dangerous threat to date palms,” stated the Deputy Director General of FAO and Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, at the meeting’s opening session. “Insufficient implementation of phytosanitary standards, the lack of an effective preventive strategy, and inadequate monitoring of response measures explain the failure to stop the plague so far,” he added.
The FAO, in collaboration with the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), organized the Scientific Consultation and High Level Meeting on the red palm weevil.
“The Mediterranean area is home to a rich biodiversity of plant species that must be protected because of social, economic, and environmental reasons. Therefore, it’s essential to have a sustainable strategy to protect the entire region from phytosanitary threats, “said Cosimo Lacirignola, the Secretary General of CIHEAM.
An invisible killer 
The red palm weevil causes millions of dollars in economic damage annually, either by the loss of production or the costs of combating the plague. Each year, the Gulf countries and the Middle East lose 8 million US dollars removing heavily infested trees. The combined cost of fighting the plague, removing and replacing infested palms, and loss of profits caused by it in Italy, Spain, and France amounted to nearly 90 million euro in 2013. This cost is expected to increase to 200 million euro by 2023 if the area doesn’t apply a strict containment program.
Part of the problem is that the red palm weevil is extremely difficult to detect in the early stages of an infestation, as there are very few visible external signs that the pest has taken over a tree: the insects remain hidden from view for almost 80 percent of their lifecycle. When it comes to tall palm species, the infestation is even more difficult to detect as the tree top is very high, and once the pest has been installed, it is too late to save them.
Oases threatened 
Palm trees are an important resource for many communities in the Middle East and North Africa. The dates have been a staple food for centuries there, and they are now an important cash crop, as the area produces more than seven million tons of this product. In total, there are currently about 100 million date palms, 60 percent of which are in Arab countries. The red palm weevil attacks young and soft trees, which are no more than 20 years old. About half of the 100 million palms match this criteria and are therefore vulnerable.
Palm trees are also vital to maintain the culture system of oases, which allow other productive trees and plants to grow under the palm’s canopy. If the pest is not stopped, the production will be strongly affected, which could lead to an economic migration of communities living in the urban oases.
High-tech solutions 
Scientific Consultation, and High Level Meetings on the red palm weevil, focus on containing the spread of the pest. The attendees will share the progress in integrated pest control, such as the selective and reduced use of insecticides and bio-pesticides, the use of highly sensitive and low cost microphones that can detect the larvae feeding inside the trees, pheromone-based traps, drones, remote sensing, and sniffer dogs. On Friday’s session, government representatives will discuss and adopt a multi-disciplinary and multi-regional strategy that includes effective implementation of cross-border phytosanitary standards.
Source: elmundo.cr

Publication date: 4/3/2017

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This week we’ve been reporting from the 12th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures, which successfully drew to a close, having produced concrete tools to support plant protection through the adoption of 25 International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). Under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS […]

via CPM-12 adopts a record number of new tools for protecting plants from pest spread — The Plantwise Blog

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AUT Student Journalism

Team effort to fight threatening fungal plant disease


Ashleigh Martin April 8, 2017

<!– Ashleigh Martin –>

Team effort to fight threatening fungal plant disease

Look out for yellow powdery eruptions on leaves. Photo: Supplied / M Daughtrey, Cornell University

The Ministry of Primary Industries has issued a call to arms after a fungal plant disease which could affect New Zealand native plants and our honey industry was found on Raoul Island.

The disease, myrtle rust, can be identified by bright yellow powdery eruptions on leaves and attacks various species of plant such as pōhutukawa, kānuka, mānuka and non-natives like the feijoa plant.

Amid fears the disease could spread to these shores, MPI is working with DOC and the New Zealand Defence Force to survey Raoul for it.

David Yard, MPI incident controller, said several DOC workers were going over the island, so a joint plan could be made.

“They’ve been briefed on how to minimise the risk of spreading it…because obviously the risk is if you work through an affected area, you might actually spread the disease,” Mr Yard said.

Raoul Island is 1100km away from the nearest part of the New Zealand mainland. The island is also very rocky and mountainous, making work difficult.

“We’ve been working with the Defence Force should we need to get materials, equipment and people onto the island to support DOC efforts,” Mr Yard said.

The disease can travel long distances by wind and can also be transported by insects, rain splashes and contaminated clothing.

The Wellington-based Science Media Centre quoted Dr David Teulon, director of Better Border Biosecurity, who said myrtle rust had been spreading rapidly around the world in recent years.

“If it reached mainland New Zealand, it could have a serious impact on a number of our taonga Māori plant species, such as pōhutukawa and rātā, with severe infections causing plants to die,” Dr Teulon said.

“Plants that are also important to our honey industry, such as mānuka and kānuka, could also be affected, which could severely impact on New Zealand’s annual $300 million of honey exports.”

– See more at: http://www.tewahanui.nz/environment/team-effort-to-fight-threatening-fungal-plant-disease#sthash.vF0oxCzv.dpuf

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tuta absolutatuta S american

The webpage links below have all of the materials, presentations, and the videos from the recent training programs on Tuta absoluta, the devastating South American tomato leafminer, conducted by the USAID IPM Innovation Lab program and the USAID ENBAITA project in Nepal..

Tuta Materials Webpage:


IPM Vegetable Package Materials Webpage:


Luke Colavito, PhD

IPM Innovation Lab, Nepal Manager

iDE Nepal, Country Director

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