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Monday, July 26, 2010

Pest traps set to eliminate red palm weevils from date farms

By PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 25 July 2010

Implementing further steps to eradicate the damaging red palm weevils that hit date farms, the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) has installed several pest traps across such farms in Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain emirates.
A senior MOEW official said that at least 1916 such traps have been set up at the farms as part of the ministry’s strategic objectives towards raising the level of bio-security and food security in the country.
Ismail Hussein Mohammed, Director of the MEOW’s Central Region Office, said that the traps have been implemented by a team of experts at about 4325 farms located in Maliha and Dhaid, Falaj Maala and Kadra and Masfout areas.
“The date farms in these areas accommodate a total of 967,135 palm trees,” he added.
According to him, the methods to eliminate the red palm weevils are part of a national campaign launched by the environment ministry last year and will continue until the end of 2011.
“At least 863,135 trees date palm trees were affected by the weevils,” disclosed Mohammed.
He urged cooperation of farmers and the private sector to implement the mechanism to get rid of the weevils from the plantations.
An MOEW statement said that it is studying the availability of water sources in the farm areas as well as the level of salinity in the water at the farms located in rugged areas.
“The ministry has adopted a number of packages for integrated and effective pest management for the farms, as well as rationalising the use of chemical pesticides in order to protect the palm trees and preserve the environment,” it elaborated.
“The mechanism to control the farm pests has been developed in accordance with measure to effectively maintain the ecological balance between the harmful pests and other useful pests,” pointed out Mohammed.
“The Ministry also has taken remedial actions and preventive measures to treat infested trees before the pest eradication procedures through the use of natural sources of resistance to pests,” he added.
“The resistance method will avoid the negative effects of using chemical pesticides that pose dangers to the public health and the environment. The mechanism also will reduce the insects’ genetic development of resistance as a result of excessive use of chemicals,” elaborated Mohammed.

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