NAREI intensifies CFF surveillance in Regions 6, 8 & 9

Over the past four weeks, the National Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), has intensified its efforts to control the spread of the Carambola Fruit Fly (CFF) in Regions Six, Eight and Nine.

According to the agency’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Brian Sears, collaborations with Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) have allowed Plant Protection Officers to intensify their efforts and activities to monitor existing, replace and set new Jackson Traps to ensure the pests are kept under control.

The objective of the exercise is to ascertain, through surveys and monitoring activities, the status of the pests and to initiate control and eradication measures where present, particularly within the hinterland communities bordering Guyana and Brazil.

Orealla/Siparuta, Region Six, Madhia, Bamboo Creek, Kanapang and several surrounding satellite communities in Region Eight, Lethem and several surrounding communities in North and South Rupununi, Region Nine were some of the communities that benefited from the exercise thus far. As efforts progress, more communities are set to benefit from these activities.

According to Sears, “Our Plant Protection Officers were able to significantly impact Region Eight, as some communities visited in that Region had a high population of the Carambola Fruit Flies. In fact, one of the sites visited more than 65 percent of the traps missing. Our officers were able to replace them, while those that were found were badly damaged. A total of 157 male Carambola Fruit Flies were captured from the traps found,”

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer also said that the agency plans to intensify its efforts in Orealla as some of the traps that were set for monitoring purposes recorded an extremely high B. carambolae population and over 4,000 male fruit flies were captured.

Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, while offering a comment said that government remains committed to the cause of keeping pests of these nature under control.

“It remains highly important for the Ministry to ensure the CFF is monitored and controlled as an infestation would negatively affect Guyana’s ability to export certain fresh fruits and vegetables to North American and other European markets. NAREI will be receiving a dedicated budget annually that will be further supported by partners such as IICA to assist with similar activities,” Minister Patterson-Yearwood said.

A number of public awareness sessions were conducted in vulnerable communities to ensure residents were informed about the importance, as well as, the harm these pests could have on agriculture and the economy. Key community leaders and pilot farmers were also trained to ensure continuation and sustainability of the programme.

A Regional CFF programme will soon be organized to complement NAREI’s ongoing CFF programme. It will include countries such as Brazil and Suriname with the aim of implementing similar and simultaneous procedures among all affected countries to achieve long-lasting outcomes.