South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council has joined forces with various institutions around the continent to eradicate fruit flies that cause major crop damage in Southern Africa. The Agricultural Research Council (ARC), has launched a three-year “F3 Fruit Fly Free” project that aims to relieve the country from the fruit fly.
Sub-Saharan Africa has suffered tremendous financial losses due to fruit flies. The Mediterranean fruit fly or medfly, infests over 260 different fruits, flowers, vegetables and even nuts, almost all grown in South Africa.
According to an ARC press release, the F3 Fruit Fly Free project intends to target the Oriental (Bactrocera dorsalis), the Mediterranean (Ceratitis capitate) and the melon fruit fly (Zeugodacus cucurbitae).
Foodformzansi.co.za reports on the project, explaining how one of the primary objectives of the project is to develop a regionally harmonised structure for the development and implementation of recognised pest-free areas and areas of low pest prevalence for regulated pests of commercial fruit commodities in Southern Africa (South Africa and Mozambique).
The project follows the directives of relevant international standards for phytosanitary measures as approved by the International Plant Protection Convention. It is a collaboration between various research institutions and government departments.