Government Agencies Increase Pest Control in Colima
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Government Agencies Increase Pest Control in Colima

Photo by:   Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash
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María Fernanda Barría By María Fernanda Barría | Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 06/30/2021 - 09:14

Government entities in Colima have joined forces to combat the Mediterranean fruit fly. The measures are being carried out in eight municipalities in the state and four surrounding states to prevent the spread of the pest, which was detected in April.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) declared that technicians from the National Agri-Food Health, Safety and Quality Service (SENASICA), in coordination with growers and state personnel from Colima, have applied control and eradication actions against the pest. Plant Health specialists have enclosed an area of 82 kilometers where the Mediterranean fruit fly pest inhabits in the municipalities close to Manzanillo. 

SADER has also indicated that the ground control for pests was strengthened in Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero and Nayarit as a preventive measure. The agencies installed in Colima nearly 2,756 traps, 8,93 bait stations, and 642 male annihilator traps in a 777 square-kilometer area. According to the government agencies, 1,350 fruit samples were collected and 11,610 kilograms of host fruit were destroyed.

The specialists fumigated more than 2,870 hectares in urban and rural communities as a precautionary measure and 4,474 hectares of production areas. The product used for the spraying is a specific organic product, which does not harm other insect species considered beneficial, such as pollinators.

In the coming weeks, SENASICA will begin to apply the Sterile Insect Technique. The institution will release 20 million sterile Mediterranean fruit flies every week to mate with wild females and thus prevent their reproduction. 

By preventing the pest from establishing in the country, government institutions aim to protect around 1.9 million hectares valued at more than MX$189 billion (US$ 9 billion) worth of primary fruit and vegetable crops. In Colima, SENASICA protects an agricultural production of approximately 3.6 million tons, with an estimated value of MX$ 7,993 billion (US$ 403 million).

The Mediterranean fruit fly is one of the most destructive non-native pests in the country's agriculture industry. The countries that have not eradicated the pest and has established in their territory are subject to severe quarantine restrictions that prevent them from exporting more than 250 fruit and vegetable products in the international market.

SADER has also joined efforts with several organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to create a guide to proceed more effectively with phytosanitary work and achieve food security. SADER reports that research on the Impact of Climate Change on Plant Pests shows that globalization of the agribusiness industry, coupled with increasing global temperatures, has led to the movement of pests worldwide and their establishment in areas where they were initially not present. 

Photo by:   Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

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