Fruit flies have been around for a long time but a new and more dangerous variant, first detected in East Africa in 2003, has spread to West Africa. Without control, these new flies can destroy more than three-quarters of fruit crops like mangoes.
Chemical spraying has not worked well on these insects in West Africa because as they change from caterpillar to fly, they can remain dormant for long periods during dry times, sheltered in their underground cocoons from sprays, a sort of insect air-raid shelter. CORAF, and its partners NARS, with funding from the European Union, the French Agency for Development and ECOWAS, is researching a suite of complementary technologies that when used in harmony can reduce the impact of the destructive flies.
CORAF Takes on Fruits Flies
Initiated in 2008 by the Agriculture and Rural Development direction of the ECOWAS Commission, the Support the Regional Plan for the Control of Fruit Flies in West Africa is the result of a long consultation process between ECOWAS, UEMOA, and the mango exporting countries.
This Project was requested by ECOWAS to manage the problem of fruit flies at the regional level for the coordination of efforts and at the national level for the pooling of strategic approaches, methods of monitoring and intervention and dissemination of the results of the research in one way in all countries affected by this scourge.
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