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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO and Arab Society for Plant Protection discuss Red Palm Weevil in the region

7 November 2018, Cairo, Egypt – FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa (NENA), Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, has met today with the Arab Society for Plant Protection (ASPP) to further discuss their cooperation on combating the Red Palm Weevil (RPW) in the NENA region.

The meeting was attended by Ould Ahmed; Thaer Yaseen, FAO Regional Crop Protection Officer; Dr. Ibrahim Al-Jboory, ASPP President; Dr. Khaled Makkouk, ASPP member and Editor-in-chief of the Arabic Journal of Plant Protection (AJPP); and Dr. Ahmed El-Heneidy, ASPP member.

 “FAO and ASPP have worked hand-in-hand to combat the red palm weevil in the region through many different projects and programmes. With our impactful work and success, we are looking forward to many more years of collaboration with more strength and better organization,” said Ould Ahmed.

“The work between FAO and ASPP dates back to over 35 years and there are many joint activities between both organizations. We support this cooperation and through discussions with FAO’s ADG, we will better organize and plan joint activities in the coming years,” stated Makkouk.

Both organization are planned to sign a memorandum of understand (MoU) to further strengthen their future collaboration and joint activities.

This meeting comes after a joint workshop on the detection, epidemiology and management of the invasive pests that threaten strategic agricultural crops in the Arab region on 4-5 November 2018.

Red Palm Weevil

RPW is one of the world’s major invasive pest species and is the single most destructive pest of some 40 palm species worldwide.

RPW was detected in the Gulf region during the mid-eighties. Over the last three decades, the weevil has spread rapidly through the Middle East and North Africa, affecting almost every country in the region.

In the NENA region, RPW is causing widespread damage to date palm, having both agricultural impacts on the palm production, which has negative repercussions on the livelihoods of farmers and the country’s economy as well as environmental impacts.

Palm trees are an important resource for many communities in the Middle East and North Africa. Dates have been a basic food staple for centuries, and are now an important economic crop.

FAO and Red Palm Weevil

FAO has been giving special attention to the fight against RPW in the region, namely through studying the current situation and determining suitable management practices through research and technologies for improvement.


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