FAO Conducts Training Workshop to Combat Red Palm Weevil Infestation

Amman, May 29 (Petra) — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, has initiated a training workshop aimed at monitoring and providing early warnings for red palm weevil infestations using a digital system.

The workshop, which commenced on Tuesday, will run until Thursday. It includes representatives from agriculture ministries across six Near East and North African countries: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. This initiative is part of FAO’s program to eradicate the red palm weevil, with 50 participants attending.

The training aims to bolster the technical skills of officials in visual inspection protocols, trapping techniques, and data collection using the SusaHamra application. Additionally, it seeks to educate participants on data validation using the PlantVillage platform and the utilization of the RPW platform for mapping and analysis.

Nabil Assaf, FAO Representative in Jordan, emphasized the significant threat posed by the red palm weevil to the sustainable production of date palms. He noted the pest’s detrimental impact on farmers’ livelihoods and the environment, not only in Jordan but throughout the Near East and North Africa region.

“Poor quarantine measures and challenges in early detection have facilitated the rapid spread of the red palm weevil across the region,” Assaf stated.

Ayman Oran, Assistant Secretary-General for Plant Wealth at the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted that the red palm weevil was first detected in Jordan in 1999. He noted a substantial increase in infestations over the past decade, prompting the Ministry to develop a comprehensive national plan.

This plan aims to halt the spread of the red palm weevil within three years and mitigate economic damage to the palm sector by leveraging modern technologies for early detection.

//Petra// AA
29/05/2024 12:26:27