No major pest threat to Malaita crops: assessment

A spotted cucumber beetle

A weeklong pest and disease survey program carried out by the South Pacific Community and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock concluded that there is no major threat of pests to agricultural crops in Malaita Province.

A four-person team conducted the assessment last week on North Malaita farms in Takwan, Arao and Malu’u. The team also visited Sulione, Fiu and Fulisango in Malaita’s central region.

It concluded that the only pest threatening crops in the area is the cucumber beetle, which is found in most surveyed areas.

But the team is working on a virus to be used in traps to curb the spread of coconut rhinoceros beetles.

During visits to farms in the province, the team encouraged farmers to plant a variety of crops to increase pest resistance. They said red slippery cabbage, which is susceptible to pests, can be protected by planting white cabbage or green slippery cabbage nearby.

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