Project

Kansen voor Morgen 2015-4: Towards a region-wide IPM approach for management of Red Palm Weevil, the major pest of date palm

Date palm is an iconic plant species in the entire Arabian Peninsula. In Saudi Arabia (KSA) and surrounding countries, the red palm weevil (RPW) is the most important threat to the production of this crop. Although the RPW is present in the whole Arab world, it seems to be most prevalent in the Gulf-countries. Arab countries produce two third of the global date production.   RPW adults can spread over large distances (up to 7 km), lay their eggs on healthy palm trees and the developing larvae live and feed inside the tree trunk. This hampers effective control measures.   Presently, RPW control methods comprise chemical control (preferably systemic pesticides), monitoring/trapping with pheromone traps and sanitation. Also biological control methods are available (e.g. nematodes and fungi) and more than 50 natural enemies of RPW have been reported.

Date palm is an iconic plant species in the entire Arabian Peninsula. In the Arabian Peninsula, the red palm weevil (RPW) is the most important threat to the production of this crop. Although the RPW is present in the whole Arab world, it seems to be most prevalent in the Gulf-countries. Arab countries produce two third of the global date production.

 

RPW adults can spread over large distances (up to 7 km), lay their eggs on healthy palm trees and the developing larvae live and feed inside the tree trunk. This hampers effective control measures.

 

Presently, RPW control methods comprise chemical control (preferably systemic pesticides), monitoring/trapping with pheromone traps and sanitation. Also biological control methods are available (e.g. nematodes and fungi) and more than 50 natural enemies of RPW have been reported.

 

Despite these control options, effective RPW management is still a challenge. Considering (i) the lack of adequate control by single measures, and (ii) the mobility of the adult weevils, integrated pest management (IPM) on a regional scale seems the best approach.

 

The aim of this project is to coordinate growers, IPM specialists and private partners producing (biological) pesticides, pheromones and monitoring tools in order to set-up a consortium that is able to develop an area-wide strategy for RPW management.

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