FARMERS WORRIED OVER PRESENCE OF DEADLY COCONUT BEETLE

An example of how the beetle can destroy coconut fronds. Photo credit: MAL.

An example of how the beetle can destroy coconut fronds. Photo credit: MAL.

Coconut Plantation owners in North Guadalcanal are concerned by the recent announcement of the new pest identified by Bio Security officers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

The Ministry announced that the pest can harm young coconut leaves and is found in Honiara

It said a task force is currently monitoring the situation.

SIBC stringer for North Guadalcanal, Dudley Gani reported John Keani, a coconut plantation owner in North Guadalcanal as saying coconut is a vital cash crop and the responsible authority must do something about the pest before it is too late.

“Speaking on behalf of the coconut plantation owners John Keani said they are really worried because coconut is a very important tree crop. Secondly, Mr Keani said they’re concerned because it this deadly coconut beetle spread and reached the Guadalcanal Plains, combined with the Giant African Snail the pests will cause a huge problem.”

Mr. Keani also expressed concerns over staffing issues at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Bio Security Department.

“They saw the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock’s Bio Security Division as understaffed and without capacity and could repeat what happened with the Giant African Snails which they couldn’t contain and eradicate. Mr Keani and his group said they do not want the same to happen with the dangerous coconut beetle because it will really affect coconut farmers and the country’s economy.”

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