January 21, 2021
Picture : Ministry of Agriculture Research team during the survey in Vanua Levu.
Limiting the risk of an outbreak of pests and diseases on major agricultural commodities post Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa is a major priority for the Ministry of Agriculture.
Four personnel from the Ministry’s Plant Protection Unit of the Research Division are currently in the affected areas of Vanua Levu, conducting survey of the three provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata as part of its initial assessment of pest and disease outbreak.
Chances of an outbreak or the new interception of pests, and diseases that occur following a natural disaster such as STC Yasa remain high and can have adverse effects on agricultural commodities.
The Plant Protection Section is assigned to provide support and advisory services on management of insect pest, plant diseases and weeds and invasive plants to people of Fiji and conduct research of potential export commodities that are hosts to fruit flies.
“It also provides support services in registration and monitoring of pesticides imported into Fiji,” said the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Mr. Ritesh Dass.
Mr. Dass said; “The findings from this survey will reveal the current status of the pest occurrence in the affected areas which will be vital for early pest management strategies to prevent further spread or establishment of pests in new areas and affecting the agricultural commodities”.
The experts from the Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science sections have carried out pest assessment survey in Nabouwalu area and Cakaudrove province last week covering the farms and nurseries with main commodities such as coconut, dalo, cassava, kumala, yaqona, assorted vegetables and fruits.
The team will continue to cover Macuata and the remainder of Bua province this week