Year 12 | 19 January 2020 | TO ENTER | TO REGISTER

Tuta absoluta is extending its damage to the potato tuber

Key Potato production areas in Sudan and Ethiopia are close to each other along the Blue Nile and its tributaries. The recent expansion of the Tuta absoluta in the areas south of Wadi Medni in Sudan, is pausing a serious risk across the board to the potato production areas around the upper Blue Nile in Ethiopia.
Tuta absoluta has been a serious threat to Tomato production damaging both leaf as well as fruit and if went unchecked it can devastate up to 100% of the drop. Up until recently the damage to potato crop was limited mainly to the leaf part of the plant. However, during the expansion of Tuta absoluta into Sudan, the pest seems to have extended its reach to the potato Tuber as well.
Due to its nutritional value and its export potential, currently there are serious efforts, sponsored by many international agencies, to enhance the production of potato in East Africa for the purpose of providing sustainable staple food source in the region as we well as improving farmer’s earnings. The new pest can present a serious threat to such efforts and needs to be kept in check as early as possible.
During the past three years and while expanding eastward from Spain along the North African coast, Tuta absoluta have caused havoc in agricultural production , devastating crops in all countries on the way, elevating prices beyond the capability of average consumer.
International aid and development agencies are strongly urged to start early monitoring provide education material to the farmers to identify the risk and plan to act against the pest and limit its damage. Pheromone traps are simple and effective tool to alert farmers to the incoming risk.
Russell IPM is offering a limited quantity of free monitoring kits to Aid and development teams advising and supporting farmers in Blue Nile region of Ethiopia to help identifying any outbreak as early as possible and to take the appropriate measures against it. This offer is also extended to agricultural institutes active in this field.
Enquires for this offer as well as any educational resources regarding Tuta absoluta, please contact Dr Shakir Al-Zaidi directly.
Tuta absoluta is a serious invasive pest. After devastating tomato production in South America, it was introduced accidently to Spain in 2006. Since then it has spread rapidly to main tomato production in Spain and the rest of the Mediterranean region and beyond.
The problems associated with this pest are the rapid population multiplication (up to 12 generations in one year) as well as its ability to develop resistance toward synthetic insecticides within few generations.

by S. C.
19 december 2011, World News > Africa