Project F3 Fruit Fly Free

Establishment and maintenance of fruit production areas free and under low prevalence of fruit fly pests in Southern Africa



Project F3 Fruit Fly Free is funded by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF). The STDF supports countries in building capacity to implement international sanitary and phytosanitary standards, guidelines and recommendations.

Project F3 Fruit Fly Free is a collaboration between various research institutions and government departments. The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) (South Africa) is the implementing organization. Other partners in the project include the Departments of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (South Africa) and its Mozambican counterpart, Citrus Research International (South Africa), Stellenbosch University (South Africa), Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Belgium).  

The project will run for three consecutive years. The start date was 1 September 2020. This primary objective of the project is to develop a regionally harmonised framework for development and implementation of recognised Pest Free Areas (PFAs) and Areas of Low Pest Prevalence (ALPPs) for regulated fruit fly pests of commercial fruit commodities in southern Africa (South Africa and Mozambique).  The project follows the directives of relevant International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) as approved by the International Plant Protection Convention. The target fruit fly pests in the project are Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata and melon fruit fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae.

 The expected results are:

1.    Established PFAs in South Africa and Mozambique for target fruit fly species

Characterization of PFAs for the Oriental fruit fly and melon fly in South Africa. Characterization of PFA for the melon fly in Mozambique. The Oriental fruit fly is currently declared present in the north and eastern parts of South Africa and the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal Province. The pest is considered absent in other parts of the country. Detections of the pest were recorded in some locations in the provinces in South Africa which are free of the pest and eradication actions were thereafter implemented. The melon fly was only reported in northern parts of Mozambique. Establish PFAs by setting up of trapping points will be established in proposed PFAs in South Africa and Mozambique. Surveying activities will be first carried out for 12 consecutive months, using specific traps and lures in order to confirm absence of pest within proposed PFAs and in order to identify buffer zones. Traps will be monitored on a monthly basis and trapping results will be entered in a centralized database. An action plan is already available for the Oriental fruit fly in South Africa. An action plan will be developed for the melon fly as a roll out plan following detection of the pest in the PFAs. Report of PFA to trading partners. Results of the trapping data during the survey period, and other compliances with ISPMs 4 and 26 will be included in an official report by the respective NPPO’s to be presented to trading partners.  

2.    ALPP Thresholds

Collate historical information from different fruit production regions/farms on (1) fruit fly catches across the season (2) rejections at packhouses for selected fruit types (3) fruit fly interceptions on the selected fruit at markets not requiring post-harvest disinfestation treatments. Develop scientifically based threshold by relating new fruit fly trapping data (using specified traps and attractants at specified trap density) in selected fruit production areas with (1) field infestation of fruit at picking ripeness, (2) fruit from the selected areas which are rejected due to fruit flies during packing and sorting, and (3) fruit from the selected areas which are rejected by inspectors at packhouses. Establish threshold level of specific fruit fly pest species in specified trapping systems on the selected fruit commodities by estimating risk of fruit fly infestation at different trapping levels based on results obtained.  

3.    Established ALPPs in South Africa and Mozambique for target fruit fly species

Propose model ALPP for Oriental fruit fly in Mozambique and South Africa, and for Mediterranean fruit fly in South Africa based on historical records. Surveying activities, using specific traps and lures in specific trap deployment methods will be conducted in the proposed ALPPs for 12 consecutive months. Surveillance data in proposed ALPPs will be compared with developed thresholds. Establish ALPP by implementation of phytosanitary measures. Official declaration of ALPP in South Africa and Mozambique. Establish a general corrective action plan in an ALPP for Oriental fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly as per Annex 1 of ISPM 35 which will include a flow chart of response and actions, delimiting surveys and recommendations on control measures.  

4.    Identification and database services

Develop identification tools for all parties involved in monitoring surveys. A protocol for identification, and further confirmation and verification will be set up. The use of automated identification of both adults and larvae will be assessed. Develop a relational database on a platform accessible through the internet, for all parties involved in monitoring surveys. A protocol for data access will be drafted, to ensure easy data entry but also confidentiality and protection of database, after wider consultation with potential additional subcontractors. Provide training sessions to end-users of identification protocol and database platform. Develop an online training course that can be offered to relevant technical staff involved in fruit exports to support rapid pre-identification, and that can provide ongoing training support after completion of the project.  

5.      Operational and economic model

Conduct a detailed financial cost benefit study for each area and per individual fruit fly species. Compile a series of whole farm financial models for PFAs and ALPPs. Apply the cost benefit analysis and the multi-period whole farm models in combination for sensitivity analysis. Identify cost efficient intervention strategies to negate the loss of status by multidisciplinary design techniques. This will aim to develop operational plans for maintenance of ALPPs for Oriental fruit fly in South Africa and Mozambique and operational plans for maintenance of ALPPs for Mediterranean fruit fly in South Africa.

Posted by Tertia Grove and Marc de Meyer




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