Categories: NewsWorld

Mauritian fruit fly war

At the island’s new irradiator facility, Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is used to suppress reproduction in this pest. SIT involves…

At the island’s new irradiator facility, Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is used to suppress reproduction in this pest. SIT involves rearing and irradiating large numbers of male sterile flies and repeatedly releasing them onto lands to mate with females, in the process outcompeting wild males.

Over time, this reduces or even eliminates the population.

According to a statement, the new irradiation unit will more than double the country’s capacity to use SIT by releasing as many as one million sterile fruit flies per week, up from 400 000.

Mauritius loses more than €4 million (R69 million) annually as a result of crop damage caused by fruit flies.

The unit, set up at a cost of €280 000 (R4,8 million), was partly sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Nando Baard, manager at FruitFly Africa, told Farmer’s Weekly that in South Africa, estimated direct damage by fruit flies in the deciduous fruit and table grapes industries was about R90 million a year. This was based on the assumption that all areas and cultivars were equally affected by the pest.

Direct damage to fruit was not the main concern, he said. As fruit fly is a quarantine pest, it can prevent access to new markets or even lead to the loss of existing ones.

“This would be a lot more costly for the fresh fruit industry than direct damage caused by the pest,” he said.

Recent Posts

Cattle branding: how to get it right every time

If branding is carried out poorly, it can lead to infection, muscle damage, and brands that are difficult to read.…

6 hours ago

Learning from Israel’s water woes

During a recent tour to farms and the AgriTech Israel exhibition in Israel, it was revealed that despite the large…

1 day ago

Using insects as animal feed

Animal feed produced from insects can deliver more tons per hectare than feed from traditional crops like soya, says an…

2 days ago

Farmers urged to participate in the Producer/Farmer Register

Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Senzeni Zokwana, recently announced the establishment of the Producer/Farmer Register…

4 days ago

Understand the power and pitfalls of trust

Trust is a potent force for good. Break it, and you and your business could suffer severe consequences.

4 days ago

DAFF’s 1 000 overpaid employees

The high cost of wages for workers in the public service is one of the major uncomfortable truths that Finance…

5 days ago

This website uses cookies.