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Fruit fly affects 90% of production in São Tomé and Príncipe

The fruit fly affects 90% of national fruit production according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and is considered one of the biggest pests in the fruit industry.

Sao Tome and Príncipe has two species of fruit flies: Bactrocera dorsalis (known as the oriental fly) and Ceratitis cosyra (known as the mango fly). According to the specialist Alfeseni Baldé, who taught the training “biological fight against fruit flies” carried out under the Adaptation to Climate Change Project, identifying pests is the first step in defining treatment. “It is a very dangerous pest, which attacks the fruit trees, not only mangoes and bananas, but also melon, watermelon, pumpkin, orange trees, lemon trees. Therefore, it does not have a single host, “explained Baldé.

The fruit fly is known to attack the reproductive organs of plants, flowers and fruits with pulps. In the period when it is presented as a larva, this insect develops inside the fruits, where it feeds on the pulp.

Reduced production (infested fruits fall early to the ground), increased production costs (through the use of control measures such as insecticide application, fruit bagging), the lower value of production (low quality fruit has less commercial value) and shorter shelf life (fruit infested with fruit flies rot more quickly) are the direct losses caused by fruit flies.

Maria Rosa Tavares, farmer.

“The fruits get black drips.” This is how the farmer from the community of Canavial, Maria Rosa Tavares, describes the fruits attacked by the pests. In her plantation there are breadfruit trees, mango trees, cajamango tress, guava trees and according to her, it’s all infested. “When we take the fruits to the market we can not sell. It’s trash!, “said Maria. The farmer was one of the participants in the training “biological fight against fruit flies” and said that with everything she has learned she is ready to fight the pests. In order to identify the type of fly and its treatment, UNDP, through the GEF-funded Adaptation to Climate Change Project, promoted the training.

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