Improving rearing, handling, and field components for fruit fly SIT application

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

23 June 2021

Start Date

22 September 2021

Expected End Date

31 December 2026

Participating Countries

Burkina Faso
South Africa
United States of America
Viet Nam


Fruit flies are one of the most destructive pests affecting production and international trade of fruits and vegetables worldwide. As such, fruit fly pests are a significant constraint on reaching the sustainable development goals of the UN by affecting food security and safety as well as poverty reduction and the environment. In the past decades the sterile insect technique (SIT) has been successfully incorporated to area-wide integrated pest management against some of the most important fruit fly pests in a number of Member States. Nevertheless, application of SIT could be further improved and optimized by incorporating recent technological innovations and by harmonizing technologies and tools through applied research. To achieve this objective the following research topics should be addressed: improved breeding colonies by maintaining genetic diversity, application of more efficient diets for mass-rearing, better nutrition of sterile flies to enhance male mating performance, decision support tools to optimize sterile fly release, improved monitoring and detection through more effective trapping systems, optimization of trapping networks through decision support tools and increased efficiency in population suppression using novel bait station technology. This research is expected to further advance the application of the SIT against fruit fly pests of economic and quarantine importance, as well as related technologies including surveillance and other fruit fly population suppression methods. Those improvements will be made available to the Member States through technology transfer. 


The main objective of this CRP is to optimize and harmonize through applied research the use of SIT and related technologies for management of plant pests.

Specific objectives

Optimize sterile fly production by improving mass rearing technologies and improved genetic sexing strains (GSS).

Improve area-wide SIT application by enhancing sterile fly quality and by introducing more cost-effective technologies and decision-making tools for sterile fly release.

Optimize fruit fly surveillance and control by introducing improved trapping systems and decision-making tools for management of trapping networks, as well as bait stations.

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