Number of live mealybug and mealybug eggs alarmingly high

Bermuda: Minister looking for ways to safely import bananas

According to Bermuda’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban, the continued issues with pests being found in imported banana shipments have resulted in a banana shortage. Therefore, officials are working to with “local importers to find ways to continue to import bananas while reducing the additional costs importers have incurred.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly, the Minister said: “You may be aware that imported bananas have until recently been the number one selling item for many grocery stores. Unfortunately over the past year they have been a times very hard to find and at the moment there are none to be found on our shelves. This is due to due to continued contamination of pests being found in imported banana shipments.”

“The issue first came to the attention of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR] in November 2018 when many bunches of imported bananas were found to be infested with two insect pests – scale and mealybug. The bananas were grown in South and Central America and shipped into Bermuda through U.S. suppliers.”

“The number of live mealybug and mealybug eggs found was alarmingly high and posed a serious risk to Bermuda’s banana industry, local crops and ornamental plants. The scale insect infestation was equally concerning as live scale and eggs were detected on all parts of the imported banana fruit. Plant biosecurity is of paramount importance to any country to safeguard food security, sustainability of agricultural and horticultural production, and also protects the livelihood of farmers and landscapers.”



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