Training targets pests in coconut industry

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Some local farmers during a training in Samoa to deal with the rhinoceros beetle.

Some local farmers during a training in Samoa to deal with the rhinoceros beetle.

A regional training on the identification, prevention and control of pests and diseases in Coconut Plantations will be held at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, starting next Monday.

The training will be attended by representatives of governments from Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (C.I.D.P.), a joint initiative of the Pacific Community (S.P.C.) and the European Union (E.U.), is facilitating the training.

“The increasing number of pests and diseases that are being introduced all over our region, are a threat within, and to, the Pacific,” an information paper about the training says. 

“C.I.D.P. has developed a Coconut Pests and Diseases Toolkit that is easily accessible online and offline, and a technical training will be conducted that will teach participants the identification, prevention, and control of pests and diseases that affect coconuts. 

“Invited participants are government and administration representatives with a biosecurity and agriculture background from around the Pacific, as they have both the time and the resource to deliver a similar training to farmers and other coconut sector stakeholders in their communities within their home countries.”

The 4-day training includes learning experiences inside and outside a classroom-type environment, with field visits occurring every afternoon. 

This will ensure that by the end of the training, the participants will be able to distinguish the differences between pests and diseases, and why the difference is important.

They will also learn how to recognize symptoms; know where to look and find information on the identification of pests and diseases; understand the importance of prevention; study the practical ways of preventing and controlling pests and diseases through examples; comprehend the importance of diversity to resilience; think about ways that increased community awareness can help prevent and control pests and diseases; and find out how to find further information and assistance.

The C.I.D.P.is part of a broader economic partnership between the EU and the African Caribbean Pacific (A.C.P.) states to bolster the coconut sector in the region through improving the competitiveness of small producers engaged in the coconut value chains, strengthening regional integration of related markets and the intensification of production. 

The programme runs from 2016-2018 and is valued at 4 million Euro.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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