Red palm weevil management strategy, the way forward
The red palm weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier, is a key pest of date palm in the NENA Region. The current RPW-IPM strategy revolves around the core IPM components of manually inspecting palms to detect infestation, use of food baited pheromone traps in monitoring and mass trapping programmes, preventive and curative chemical treatments, removal and disposal of severely infested palms, implementing pre and post entry phytosanitary measures, etc. The ongoing FAO Programme on RPW eradication in the NENA region provides a global platform to plan, execute and evaluate national RPW control programmes by offering research and technical support to on-going RPW control programmes in the region including: i) testing of advanced cost effective and user-friendly early detection systems; ii) encouraging farmer participation in area-wide control of the pest by carrying out detailed socio-economic studies. The FAO RPW eradication program targets the implementation of farmer field schools for enhancing farmers engagement in RPW-IPM program and to lay the basis for technology transfer and adoption of improved technologies; iii) standardize phytosanitary measures at borders and recommend phytosanitary treatment protocols for offshoots and palms besides establishing harmonized certification program for the production, conservation and use of certified (true-to-type and healthy) propagative material of date palm; iv) address gaps in promoting RPW control tactics including the development of fumigation technique for use in curative and quarantine treatment of date palm offshoots, evaluate semiochemical mediated technologies (dry and smart traps, attract and kill, etc.), standardize guidelines for RPW centric GAP, evaluate protocols for chemical control, microwave technology and eradication of severely infested palms; v) field evaluation of remote sensing technology to locate palms and detect RPW infestations; vi) provide overview of the field situation in real time using GIS based Susa Hamra app on automatic information on palm location, trap captures and evolution of palm infestation, for monitoring and evaluation to measure the efficacy of the regional and national control strategy; and vii) build capacities of all stakeholders for the efficient control of RPW in the region. Based on the above, this paper gives an overview on the RPW management strategy and the way forward.
Faleiro, J.R., Yaseen, T. and Bob, M.A. (2023). Red palm weevil management strategy, the way forward. Acta Hortic. 1371, 81-86
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, IPM, early detection, trapping, quarantine, GIS