Agriculture

Advisory for farmers on the management of the Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) during the 2021/22 mango season

Owing to high volumes of rain experienced in most provinces of South Africa (SA), associated increases in Oriental fruit fly (OFF) populations and the resultant washing off of bait sprays, farmers are urged to adjust their bait spray applications.

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development DALRRD Media Liaison Officer and Spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo said that in addition, Male Annihilation Technique (MAT) blocks should be placed in host crops at the registered rates. Protein bait stations may be placed along with bait sprays as they are less prone to leaching in rainy weather, if set up correctly.

He said that growers are also urged to apply field or orchard sanitation measures every week to destroy dropped fruit as an effective measure to reduce the pest population.

“Growers must also monitor OFF populations using methyl eugenol baited traps as this will enable them to implement timely measures to control the pest.”

Said Ngcobo: “Over 70 species of commercial and wild fruit are known to be infested by OFF. Mangoes are particularly susceptible to OFF infestation. It is imperative for growers and all stakeholders involved to adhere to prescribed control measures as administered under the Agricultural Pests Act, 1983 (Act No. 36 of 1983), Control Measures R.110 of 27 January 1984 as amended, which provides for measures to combat the introduction, spread and establishment of the pest in new areas.”

Ngcobo added that all stakeholders involved should apply for a removal permit from the DALRRD should they wish to move OFF host crops from infested areas to non-infested areas.

“The following are currently non-infested areas as published in Control Measures R.110 of the Agricultural Pests Act, 1983 (Act No. 36 of 1983): Areas in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and the Free State.

“It is important to note that removal permits are only issued when the fruit fly management control measures are implemented and population levels have been reduced to an acceptable level. Such permits can be revoked if the OFF numbers in an area increase to unacceptable numbers.”

For further information on application for removal permits, please contact the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Directorate: Inspection Services: 012 309 8735/ 8791/ 8763, E-mail: RemovalPermits@dalrrd.gov.za

NB: For OFF registered agrochemicals, visit your nearest reputable agro-dealer.

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