Tuta Absoluta population decreased significantly

Mr. Randy Stravens and Ravi Moustache confirmed to the media Monday morning 20th September that their department will implement new measures to facilitate local trade of tomatoes by the 27th September

Following the re-incursion of the tomato leaf miner Tuta Absoluta late July, the National Bio-security agency from the department of Agriculture, laid certain restrictions in the trade of tomatoes between islands to contain the spreading of the pest.

According to Mr. Stravens the department of Agriculture worked closely with farmers to ensure they understand the various precautionary measures in place to control the spreading, using new sustainable product.

“As per our mandate we ensure close monitoring by placing traps, which enable us to collect accurate scientific evidence, the data collected proves that there’s a significant decrease in the population collecting on an average five flies per trap. We’ve received good collaborations with farmers as well, and with their continuous effort we will manage to eliminate this pest for good as fast as possible.”

He further added that Val D’endorre, Aux Cap and four other site on Mahe did spotted population of the tomato leaf binder considering they produce tomatoes on a large scale, however the overall infestation has decreased considerably. He also highlighted since it’s the Seychelles tomato season therefore, farmers will come across small pockets in some areas.

“Some people prefers to grow their own tomatoes at home, probably we need to ensure that the public stays vigilant to prevent infestation which might contribute to the spread. However, the infestation is mostly concentrated in the south of Mahe, since there’s a large farming community, compared to only two pockets recorded in the northern part of Mahe, namely La Gogue and North East Point”

He continued saying that the Agricultural Department does have an emergency response plan to ensure there’s proper method to deal with the situation, he added that they analyzed the seriousness of the matter and evaluate. He further stated that they worked closely with farmers to establish certain precautionary measures to control the pest, however he mentioned that there were farmers who raised concern regarding their loss in domestic trade of tomatoes.

“We did collect weekly report and update regarding the situation and the considering the report which came in last week, we’ve raised certain recommendation to resume domestic trade since there is a significant decrease in the population” Said Mr. Stravens