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African Insect Experts Meet in Ghana to Discuss Fruit Fly Suppression

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National Project Coordinators, experts and IAEA staff at a meeting on the detection, surveillance and suppression of exotic and established fruit fly species. (Photo: IAEA)

A mid-term coordination meeting for a regional IAEA technical cooperation project[1] on the detection, surveillance and suppression of exotic and established fruit fly species was held in Accra, Ghana, from 23-27 July 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to share and harmonize methodologies for the surveillance and suppression of fruit fly activity, to explore opportunities for strengthening partnerships to combat and control fruit flies in Africa, and to discuss the status of each participating Member State’s surveillance and national control programme

The project is contributing to regional efforts to increase awareness of exotic invasive fruit fly pests and quarantine improvements, and of area-wide integrated pest management for the suppression of fruit fly populations. The meeting facilitated knowledge sharing and networking, as well as capacity building for quarantine and monitoring systems, trapping, fruit sampling systems and suppression activities.

Representatives from Belgium’s Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development also participated in the meeting. They presented their organizations’ experiences in insect pest suppression in Africa, including RMCA’s current fruit fly research.

Capacities for the detection, surveillance and suppression of fruit flies in Africa varies, and more work is needed to harmonize and standardize surveillance activities. The meeting participants discussed the increasing need for building human resource capabilities, and highlighted the importance of further exploring support possibilities from participating organizations.

The coordination meeting was attended by IAEA staff and project coordinators from 20 African Member States: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

Activities for the near future will focus on the provision of expertise, digitalization, educational tool development, training and networking. As one of the meeting outcomes, requirements at the national level to assure realization of project objectives within the timeframe were agreed.

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[1] RAF5074, ‘Enhancing Capacity for Detection, Surveillance and Suppression of Exotic and Established Fruit Fly Species through Integration of Sterile Insect Technique with Other Suppression Methods’

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