KORE - Knowledge Sharing Platform on Resilience

Innovative participatory approach to control Red Palm Weevil on date palms in Mauritania


The Red Palm Weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) is the most destructive pest of palms, causing widespread damage to several palm species in diverse agro-ecosystems worldwide. The RPW originates from South and Southeast Asia and is now spreading to nearly all Near East, North Africa, and Mediterranean countries. This invasive pest moves from one country to another mainly through infested planting material.

In North Africa, the RPW poses a serious threat to date palm cultivation, which accounts for 15 percent of global date production. In Mauritania, the RPW was detected for the first time in late December 2015 - in the Tidjikja oasis in Tagant Wilaya, which covers nearly 20 000 ha with around 2.6 million date palm trees. This was the first time the RPW was detected in the Maghreb Region. By March 2016, around 70 infestations had been detected in Tidjikja. Detection is extremely difficult during early stages of an infestation due to the way the RPW burrows into the palm tree. Usually weevils are detected on palms in later stages of infestation when adults emerge, triggering new infestations, and spread of the weevil.

This information sheet illustrates Mauritania’s success story in controlling RPW in the oasis of Tidjikja through Integrated Pest Management using an innovative participatory approach. A key reason of success was the engagement of farmers of Tidjikja to protect their oasis against RPW with inspection for early detection, control techniques, trap management and date palm cleaning and other methods.

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