Home » Business » Fruit Fly Control Project Launched

The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development — in conjunction with the Food and Agricultural Organisation — has launched a project to control the fruit fly, a pest that affects fruits and vegetables.

The project would run from this month until December 2015 and is aimed at helping horticulture farmers improve management and control of the fruit fly.

The fruit fly, which is commonly known as the Asian fruit fly affects yield in orange, mango, apple, peach, tomato, pumpkin and cucumbers among others.

Officially launching the project in Harare, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made said the fruit fly was now affecting export of fruits.

“The launch of this project is important in that it comes during the time when Zimbabwe is facing restrictions in terms of fruit and vegetables exports due to the presence of this fly. Africa and Asia have not been spared by the fly. Stakeholders should work together to eliminate the fly,” he said.

Minister Made said the control of the fruit fly was in line with Zim Asset which emphasised on food security and nutrition.

“We are working on resuscitating the horticulture industry. We can squarely address food and nutrition for domestic, regional and international markets,” he said.

He said stakeholders should identify the source of the pest and deal with it instead of trying to continue on research.

“We should put emphasis on action. Let’s not try to re-create the wheel. We are facing a direct challenge that we cannot spend time studying this and that.

Authorities from the phyto-sanitary should not continue issuing import permits when they know the source of the pest,” he said. He said experts should also scout for possible sources of the fruit fly in the country. This included inspecting farms that used to produce fruits.

“Internally we have to examine all the areas where we used to produce fruit and vegetables. Maybe fruit trees have been left for long unattended. So we cannot experiment when we know maybe its an orange tree. If it’s an A2 farmer we have to go there and solve the problem. Support should not only come from FAO but from our banks and financial institutions to resuscitate or destroy the potential source of the problem,” he said.

Source : The Herald