MAWF warns of oriental fruit fly in Zambezi Region

The Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF) said, based on information sharing with neighboring countries and evidence at hand, there is a presence of Oriental fruit fly in Zambezi Region, anticipated to have spread from Zambia.

Oriental fruit fly is (Bactrocera dorsalis) is a destructive pet which infest fruit where it occurs and it causes huge crop loses where it is found.

In a media statement on Monday issued by MAWF public relations officer, Jona Musheko, said the spread of the oriental fruit fly is due to the direct linkage and movement of both animal and people between the two countries.

Musheko noted that, the MAWF is guided by the Plant Quarantine Act, Act No: 7 of 2008 which enables the ministry to prevent the spread of pest and diseases from within and outside Namibia, and ensure compliance of Namibia's plant exports with international phytosanitary standards and conventions.

The oriental fruit fly is classified as quarantine pest/insect and is highly restricted, it is against this basis that the MAWF implemented measures of control to avoid the spread of the Oriental fruit fly through mango fruits in the Zambezi region to other parts of the country.

Namibia currently enjoys the international recognition of Oriental fruit fly free status in most of its regions hence its ability to export to international markets, it is therefore critical for the government, through the MAWF to maintain the agriculture sector free from any plant or animal diseases/pests, especially those of economic importance, said Musheko.

According to the statement, if a consignment of commodities containing even a single fruit infested with the larvae is exported to international markets such as Europe, the whole consignment will be rejected and destroyed at the expense of the exporting country. This problem has resulted in most of the fruits from some African countries to be prohibited from entering international markets.

Concluding, the PRO urged the public to corporate with the law enforcement officials and welcome effort as it is all done for the national interest.

Source: Namibia Press Agency