Muscat – The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) launched a month-long programme to combat an infestation of coconut leaf beetles (Brontispa longissima) in Dhofar region on Monday.
The Directorate General of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources in Dhofar launched the programme after emergence of several sites of infestation. ‘The campaign will continue till June 15,’ the ministry stated.
The coconut leaf beetle attacks palms of all ages, but tender ones are more susceptible because the leaves of mature and old palms are firm and less suitable for the beetle to breed in.
Rashid Said al Ghafri, Director General of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources in Dhofar, “Twelve fieldwork teams have been formed, equipped with all that is necessary to carry out ground and air spraying using drones to combat the bug.’
Inspection teams also determined sites of infestation of white flies – a tiny, sap-sucking insect that may become abundant in vegetable and ornamental plants, especially during warm weather – in the wilayats of Salalah and Taqah with the aim of determining an appropriate pest control method.