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Eradication of the Mediterranean fruit fly from the Dominican Republic using nuclear technology


The Mediterranean fruit fly (or medfly), Ceratitis capitata Wied., is considered a major agricultural pest worldwide because of its direct damage to fruit and vegetable production, and restrictions imposed to commercialization of horticultural commodities by countries free of the pest. The insect attacks several varieties of fruit and vegetable, and spreads very fast.

The presence of this pest was officially reported in the Dominican Republic in March 2015. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), FAO and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) immediately joined hands to assist the country in establishing a national monitoring network to delimit the distribution of the outbreak and initiate an eradication campaign with support from the Guatemala, Mexico, USA Moscamed Programme and regional organizations, such as the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

In July 2017, the Caribbean country declared officially that it is free of the invasive pest, only two years after an outbreak led to considerable damage to its agricultural industry.

The Dominican Republic has eradicated the medfly by using an integrated approach that includes the sterile insect technique (SIT) - an environmentallyfriendly and effective method to suppress or eradicate selected insect populations - applied on an area-wide basis.

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