Four people from the Ministry of Agriculture are in Vanua Levu this week to carry out an initial assessment of pest and disease outbreak in the Northern Division following Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
In a statement, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Ritesh Dass said chances of an outbreak of pests and diseases following natural disasters are usually high and could have adverse effects on agricultural commodities.
The 4-member team from the ministry’s Plant Protection Unit is currently in TC Yasa-affected areas of Vanua Levu conducting the survey.
“The findings from this survey will reveal the current status of the pest occurrence in the affected areas which will be vital for early pest management strategies to prevent further spread or establishment of pests in new areas,” Dass said.
The Plant Protection Section is assigned to provide support and advisory services on management of insect pest, plant diseases and weeds and invasive plants to people of Fiji and conduct research of potential export commodities that are hosts to fruit flies.
“It also provides support services in registration and monitoring of pesticides imported into Fiji,” Dass said.
The team carried out pest assessment survey in the Nabouwalu area and Cakaudrove province last week covering the farms and nurseries with main commodities such as coconut, dalo, cassava, kumala, yaqona, assorted vegetables and fruits. They will continue to cover Macuata and the remainder of Bua province this week.