Fruit flies invade Limpopo

2012-05-09 20:56

Pretoria - Quarantine measures have been imposed in the northern parts of Limpopo where an invader fruit fly, Bactrocera, has been detected, an official said on Wednesday.

Agriculture spokesman Selby Bokaba said the fruit fly was detected in the Vhembe district.

"The first of the series of detections occurred next to the Limpopo River on February 15 at the Beitbridge, Weipe and the Pontdrift areas. The other detections occurred in Musina, Tshipise and in Louis Trichardt," he said.

A five kilometre radius had been cordoned off in the affected areas to control infestation levels.

Bactrocera is a highly invasive species of fruit fly which causes damage to its hosts, which could include commercial and wild fruit and vegetables.

"Quarantine measures are being implemented in all the affected areas, including the residential areas, to contain and to eradicate the pest," said Bokaba.

He said if the if the quarantine measures were not successful, the fruit fly could move from affected areas to other parts of the country.

"This may result in production losses for small and commercial scale farmers, and additional costly trade restrictions and phytosanitary measures, or even temporary loss of export markets," he said.

Bokaba said traps to detect the fruit fly had been strategically placed around the country.

"There are approximately 1 500 traps, with the majority located in northern Limpopo, covering border fences, border posts, roads leading from border posts as well as nearby towns and production units," he said.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  environment

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