July 2003. Niue reported that it would like to import pineapple plants from French Polynesia and asked for help in defining the conditions.
It was initially suggested that lists of the pests and diseases in the two countries should be obtained and compared. A quick check of records indicated that both Niue and Tahiti have pineapple mealybug (Dysmicoccus brevipes). Neither country has been recorded having the armoured scale Diaspis boisduvalii, which attacks pineapple. However, Diaspid bromeliae (an armoured scale insect pest of pineapple) has been recorded from Tahiti but not from Niue. The scale insect crawlers are so small that they are likely to escape visual inspection. Shoots should be fumigated, and checked regularly for the first 3 months after planting.
However, there is probably no point in looking at the lists of pests and diseases for a PRA, as the management options for Niue are quite narrow. All arthropod pests will be managed by fumigation with MeBr at the rate for actively growing plants:
- 32g/m3 for 2 hrs at 21-25C NAP
- 24g/m3 for 2hrs at 26-30C NAP
Pineapple is tolerant to MeBr. If the facility is not operational in the country, then the consignments should be fumigated in the exporting country (in this case French Polynesia). The problem with an insecticide dip is that the pineapple leaves are waxy and there is need to ensure that the treatment wets the surface, and does not burn the leaf. If a dip is used, dip in Maldison (malathion 0.1% a.i. or carbaryl 1% a.i.) at 210C for 30 seconds.
If the country does not not have the capability to screen for diseases, it is suggested that the material be sourced from the most disease-free plantings in French Polynesia. It would be good if the plant material was virus-indexed, but that might not be possible.
The cuttings should be grown in pasteurised compost in boxes held above ground (so that the plants can be destroyed easily, together with the medium, if there are quarantine concerns, without putting other plants at risk. The plants should be observed for at least 3 months.