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Scab moth & fruit fly training, banana, PNG

February 2012. PNG is giving training to farmers in the control of two serious pests of banana: scab moth and fruit fly, under an AusAID finance Agricultural and Innovation Grants Scheme. Two organisations are carrying out the training, the University of Natural Resources & Environment and the National Agriculutural Research Institute.

One of the principal investigators on the project sent the following

NARI through the Entomology section at LAES (Kerevat) has developed a pole injector using locally available materials. The equipment can be used for target and cover sprays by modifying the tip of the spray tube/pipe. Target spraying is done at the very early stage when the fingers are still fully covered in bracts whilst cover sprays are applied later when the banana bunches are almost mature. The target spray specifically targets banana scab moth whilst cover spray controls the moth and other pests, such as mites and weevils. The critical stage for target sprays is when the bunch is approx. 45 degrees. Field hygiene and fruit bagging are also critical for the effective management of pest.

It was noted that by spraying as well as field hygiene (weeding, removal of debris and dead banana leaves) and fruit bagging, the banana scab moth as well as other pests (e.g. fruit fly, mites, weevils) can be effectively managed. As the technology has never been shown to farmers, the project intends to train farmers on the construction of the equipment as well as the application of the management strategies. It is envisaged that by combining these strategies we will help to manage a wide range of banana pests, not only banana scab moth and banana fruit fly.

[Editor] If more information is required, it is suggested that enquires are directed at NARI: The information appeared in DIDINET News Vol. 8, No. 2 – but that does not appear to be on the Internet.

In Australia, the scab moth is controlled by bell injections of insecticide on commercial plantations. The bell (the emerging fruit) injection method is illusted in a poster that can be seen here: The injection controls flower trhips, but not rust thrips, as this comes later; it is controlled by insecticidal sprays applied under the plastic bunch cover.