Regional initiative to control fruit fly in West Africa
This project aimed to facilitate the market access of fruits, especially mangos and citrus, in Europe and United States. The goal is achieved through the improvement of safety and quality techniques in the production process and by ensuring an effective management of fruit fly in West Africa. The project also provided capacity building on the detection of fruit fly species and the monitoring and control of population growth, to the personnel of the Plant Protection Directorates and growers of commercial fruit plantations.
The project is conducted in eight pilot countries: Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Togo.
A result story on the project is available here.
Fruit flies have become an increasingly predominant pest in West African countries. The emergence of a new species in the region, Bactrocera invadens, raised concerns due to its economic impact. Preliminary studies brought a regional response to fight against fruit fly and the project falls within the scope of this regional initiative conducted by CIRAD and funded by the World Bank between 2008 and 2009. This project is designed to continue and deepen the regional sensitization and training work.
Improved knowledge and skills on prophylactic measures
The project was successful on delivering the methodology at the producer level. Focus groups were created to exchange knowledge and raise awareness amongst producers. Furthermore, demonstrative trials took place on the orchards of different growers. During the project, the producers (through their respective associations) and exporters (mainly from the private sector) received trainings. Twenty new trainers from fruit sector were also trained in each country. Five thousand instructive brochures on fruit flies and control methods have been distributed to different stakeholders during the trainings.
Enriched African fruit fly database
The project permitted to update the database on Asian fruit fly species by including new data about the citrus sector. The database comprehends fruit fly taxonomy and identification in the eight pilot countries including treated and non-treated orchards. More than a dozen Tephritidae species have been identified and comprehensive fruit fly fluctuation peeks have been detected.
Improved regional coordination
The project established National Fight against Fruit Fly Committees in each country. The Committees ensured the coordination between producers, associations, public sector, international organisations and trust funds. They formed a system for monitoring, alerting and managing issues related to fly attacks on fruits. Countries have respectively appointed a national focal point in charge of monitoring activities.
Further scientific knowledge is needed to comprehend effective techniques to tackle fruit flies. Additional tests are needed to determine the most effective method to tackle Bactrocera invadens. Testing new food attractors are also recommended in order to improve the trapping of Tephritidae females.
Expanding the trainings
Mali and Ghana did not receive trainings for exporters, which should take place as part of follow-up activities in the future. Further training for the agents of the plant protection and grassroots extension services should be also considered.
Fostering the regional cooperation and database
Increasing the number of focal points and improving their role as data collectors is essential for the sustainability of the project. The performance of focal points in Burkina-Faso and Cote d'Ivoire was unsatisfactory and should be improved in the future. In terms of data collection, the focal points need to find solutions for a faster generation and centralisation of data.