Establishing fruit fly-free areas in Southern Africa

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Establishing fruit fly-free areas in Southern Africa

The key objective of the project is to establish and develop a framework for the maintenance of pest-free areas and areas of low pest prevalence for fruit flies in South Africa and Mozambique.

Check the Fruit Fly Free project webpage in ARC website to learn more. 

The International Atomic Energy Agency website featured a news item on two new apps for identifying fruit flies linked to this STDF project. Click here to learn more.


Fruit flies* are one of the most destructive horticultural pests, posing risks to most fresh fruit and fruit products. With increasing trade and movement of people globally, these pests are easily transferred across borders. To prevent their spread to local crops and avoid health risks, importing countries require that all fruit products received are free of pests, in compliance with regional and international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulations.

With the continual expansion of the fresh fruit industry in Southern Africa, countries recognize the importance of complying with SPS regulations if they wish to participate fully in the global economy. The STDF is working with stakeholders in Mozambique and South Africa to establish a framework for the development and maintenance of pest-free areas and areas of low pest prevalence in accordance with the relevant international standards for phytosanitary measures approved by the International Plant Protection Convention.  

Along with an effective fruit fly management system, the establishment of pest-free areas and areas of low pest prevalence is expected to protect and promote the fruit industry, resulting in increased access to markets in the Southern African Development Community region and the European Union, the creation of job opportunities, and higher revenues for farmers and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors.

The lessons learned, results achieved and experiences gained from this project are also expected to have regional significance as case studies for neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Malawi and Swaziland, in whose economies the horticulture industry also plays a significant role.

* This project is targeted at the Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) and melon fly (Zeugodacus cucurbitae).


Through this project, STDF and its implementing partners will:

  1. Establish pest free areas in South Africa and Mozambique through surveying activities and trapping points to confirm their absence.  
  2. Establish areas of low pest prevalence in South Africa and Mozambique by setting up trapping systems to determine the risk of infestation and develop a corrective action plan.
  3. Develop a data platform for the determination of fruit fly status in different regions in South Africa and Mozambique.
  4. Source science-based evidence on the prevalence of fruit flies.
  5. Develop a financial model for the maintenance of pest free areas and areas of low pest prevalence by conducting a detailed cost benefit study of each selected location and individual fruit fly species.

The following international standards have been referenced for this project:

 More detail on the project can be found here

PDF icon STDF/PG/567 - Application Form.pdf579.96 KB
Reference Number 
Project Value (US$) 
STDF Contribution (US$)  
South Africa
Implementing Entities 
Agricultural Research Council (ARC) - South Africa
Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) - South Africa
Citrus Research International (CRI) - South Africa
Stellenbosch University (SU) - South Africa
Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU) - Mozambique
Department of Plant Protection (DSV) - Ministry of Agriculture - Mozambique
Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) - Department of Biology - Belgium