Last Monday, the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry banned the importation of mangoes suspected of carrying the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) from neighbouring Zambia as well as the north eastern Zambezi region which borders that country.
Public Relations Officer in the Ministry Jona Musheko said that, with these flies, the fruits carry a destructive pest that infests fruits where it occurs, and wherever it is found it causes huge crop losses. The ban is meant to protect the production of export commodities such as table grapes, watermelon, butternuts and vegetables.
The Ministry of Agriculture reiterated that in the past any reasonable suspicion detected in a consignment of commodities being exported to Europe resulted in that market rejecting Namibian products.
"It is therefore critical for the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, to maintain the agriculture sector from any plant or animal diseases/pests, most especially those of economic importance," Musheko said.
According to xinhuanet.com, a spokesperson from the Namibian government announced that strict control measures against movements of infected fruits within their borders will continuously be upheld.