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Thailand DoAE - FAO Vegetable IPM Regional Training on Biological Control

9-20 July 2007, Khon Kaen, Thailand









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    Document
    FAO Regional Vegetable Disease Diagnosis, Ecology and Management Training
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 20-28 September 2007
    2007
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Developing an Asia-Pacific strategy for forest invasive species: The coconut beetle problem – bridging agriculture and forestry
    Report of the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network Workshop
    2007
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    Graceful coconut palms are a fixture of the tropical landscape and represent an important cash crop in the Asia-Pacific region. But a mysterious pest began ravaging the palms, scorching and browning the leaves, and ultimately killing them. It turned out that the mysterious pest is the palm leaf beetle which previously occurred only in the Pacific islands. If the menace is not halted, it is likely to cause major economic problems especially for rural folks dependent on the crop. Obviously natural barriers cannot be effective anymore in a shrinking globe where plant material is moved freely around the region. When FAO became aware of the problem it took immediate measures to control the spread of the leaf beetle. While chemical control measures can generally be applied, in this case the height of the palm and the cost of chemicals have both proven to be prohibitive. FAO took several steps to bring about effective control using biological control methods. But this remains only one measure among a series of activities needed if proper control is to be brought about. FAO has been exploring the range of activities which have to be put in place for effectively controlling the coconut leaf beetle from spreading further. This proceedings represents the results of a workshop – convened from 22 to 25 February 2005 in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam – of agricultural and forestry experts from across the region. They call for a need to develop a regional programme to investigate the coconut le af beetle problem so that the status of infestation and effectiveness of the eradication programme can be systematically monitored. The experts also point out the critical need to work between sectors. The proceedings goes beyond the coconut leaf beetle problem to look at the broader issues of invasive species in the region such as technology transfer, policies, institution building, and the importance of farmers’ education, all of which are integral parts of pest management.

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