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Infestation caused economic hardship among farmers – NAREI CEO

first_imgCarambola fruit fly…critical inspection done with fruits from BrazilIntensified spread of the Carambola Fruit Fly (CFF) in several regions of Guyana has initiated a partnership between the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to end this scourge and foster normal trade internationally.On Monday, efforts to combat the CFFs commenced with a workshop at the Regency Suites. Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Dr Oudho Homenauth explained that the infestation has caused much unease among farmers, especially those from the hinterland where the pest population is high.Fruit flies have been affecting several regionsHe pointed out that rigorous inspection is required for fruits entering from Brazil but the CFF has since spread to other parts of the country through movement of people. Findings from a recent survey would have indicated prevalence of the pest in Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). This revelation formed the basis of the workshop.NAREI and IICA have also collaborated to enhance public awareness of the pest through social media, radio broadcast, posters and community outreaches. However, Guyana’s porous borders have made it more difficult to control the spread.Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of the Agriculture Ministry, Delma Nedd reminded that citrus are among the fresh fruits with the greatest export potential. But exporting is heavily challenged by the Phytosanitary requirements demanded by the importing country.Adding to that, the agriculture sector is stymied by the limited exportation of non-traditional fruits due to the uncontrolled presence of the CFF.Just a few weeks ago, over 4000 male fruit flies were captured at Orealla, Region where there is a huge pest problem affecting vegetables and other crops. According to NAREI, this pest hinders Guyana’s ability to export certain fresh fruits and vegetables to North American and European markets.“Twenty-two traps that were set for monitoring purposes recorded an extremely high B carambola population. Over 4000 male fruit flies were captured. Four of the traps that were missing were also replaced,” NAREI said.Public awareness sessions were conducted within all communities to ensure residents are informed about the importance as well as the harm this pest could have on agriculture and the economy.Villagers were encouraged to participate and assist NAREI’s Extension staff, especially those working within the areas affected. Also, key community leaders and pilot farmers were trained to ensure the continuation and sustainability of the programme.last_img read more

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