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FAO launches new regional project to fight the most serious threats to Tomato Production in the Near East

Tuta absoluta is considered as one of the most serious pests of tomato crops. It causes destructive economic damage and losses that could reach up to 50-100% of the production in uncontrolled crops.

FAO launches new regional project to fight the most serious threats to Tomato Production in the Near East
Tuta absoluta is considered as one of the most serious pests of tomato crops. It causes destructive economic damage and losses that could reach up to 50-100% of the production in uncontrolled crops.

In the past few years Tuta absoluta has spread rapidly through countries in the Mediterranean Basin and has threatened tomato production in protected and open fields.

Tomato production is considered to be one of the major sources of income for farmers in the Near East. Tuta absoluta, hence, “is currently one of the most serious threats to tomato production and farmers’ income in the Near East Region” says Mr. Shoki AlDobai, FAO’s crop protection expert, and “represents a direct threat to the livelihood of thousands of local farmers in the region”.

While various countries have worked to develop management strategies for the tomato borer, lack of communication limits other countries from learning from their experience.

To strengthen regional collaboration, coordination, information and knowledge exchange about the management of this pest, FAO is launching a new regional project in seven countries of the Near East Region.

The Lebanese Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Dr. Hussein Hajj Hassan, will host the official opening of the project in an inception workshop to be held from 21-23 March. The workshop will gather pest management experts and authorities from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon to review the current status of Tuta absoluta and set a joint workplan for the seven participating countries.

The project will support local authorities to map out and contain the spread of the Tuta absoluta providing a forum to share information and knowledge about this dangerous pest.

19/03/2013

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