Establishment and maintenance of fruit production areas free and under low prevalence of fruit fly pests in Southern Africa
The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) supports countries in building capacity to implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, guidelines and recommendations. This project aims specifically at developing a regionally harmonised framework for development, implementation and recognition of Pest Free Areas (PFAs) and Areas of Low Pest Prevalence (ALPPs) for regulated fruit fly pests of fruit commodities in southern Africa (South Africa and Mozambique) following the directives of the relevant International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), as approved by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
A number of fruit fly species are pests which restrict export of fruit from many regions of the world including Africa and southern Africa. Countries importing fresh fruit and fresh fruit products require that these commodities be free of fruit fly pests. Pre-harvest and post-harvest measures form part of control packages for fruit fly pests in fruit production systems. However, these measures perform less efficiently at high pest pressure. Many fruit production systems with local fruit fly pests in Africa are also at risk of introduction of invasive exotic fruit fly pests due to increasing trade and movement of people within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world.
Establishment of pest free areas in fruit production regions would entail early detection and exclusion measures for exotic fruit fly pests. Establishment of areas of low pest prevalence for local fruit fly pests would render an effective fruit fly management system and would enable the implementation of a systems approach for managing fruit fly risk in commercial fruit in particular for those fruit types which are less susceptible to fruit fly infestation.
The project is about the establishment and maintenance of PFAs and ALPPs of specified regulated fruit fly pests in South Africa and Mozambique following ISPM 26, Establishment of pest free areas for fruit flies (Tephritidae), ISPM 35, Systems approach for pest risk management of fruit flies (Tephritidae), Annexure 1, Establishment of areas of low pest prevalence for fruit flies, ISPM 29, Recognition of pest free areas and areas of low pest prevalence, and ISPM 37, Determination of host status of fruit to fruit flies (Tephritidae). Other general standards would also be followed as a result such as, ISPM 4, Requirements for the establishment of Pest Free Areas, ISPM 6, Surveillance, ISPM 8, Pest status, and ISPM 9, Eradication.
As such, the project addresses good practices in SPS, by safeguarding and improving at a regional scale, the production of a number of main horticultural commodities in the southern African countries involved. It will assure them of continued or new market access by adherence to requirements for export of fruit free of fruit fly pests. Importantly, it will protect and promote the fruit industry, an important economic driver in the countries concerned, resulting in income for the farmers, revenue for the government, job creation and opportunities for further development of the sector. National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) from South Africa and Mozambique as well as public and private research institutions are participating in the project. The project will create a framework for the development of fruit fly free areas and areas of low fruit fly prevalence which could be adopted in other African regions. The target fruit fly pests in the project are: Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel); Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) and melon fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett).