CRB arrives in Renbel: reports

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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

Coordinator for CRB Taskforce Mr Donald Wate shares government stand on the fight against CRB during the BA5 event SICCI and GPPOL hosted last week

 THE Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) has reportedly arrived at the Rennell and Bellona province.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock through Biosecurity division suspected has received information from communities in Rennell that the pest has been sighted there two weeks ago.

MAL’s Director for Bio-security Mr Francis Tsastia however said that they are yet to verify these reports.

“CRB now in Renbel, reports received from the communities but it need to be confirmed.”

Tsastia made the statement during the ‘Business After Five’ event which convened members of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Heritage Park Hotel last week.

Coordinator for CRB Taskforce Mr Donald Wate said currently government through its taskforce has established a MAL Operational Plan set out for pest management.

He explained the pest management systems are sanitation (reducing existing populations), internal quarantine (limiting further spread) and development of long term solutions.

Wate said implementing such a programme is complex and large which involves integration of pest management techniques such as sanitation, movement control, and identification and establishment of bio-control agents.

He also adds that the work will be carried out by several organisations including government and the private sector.

“This work goes beyond the Job Description of any existing government post and requires an individual with energy, initiative, drive and organisational leadership qualities, but not necessarily technical pest control expertise,” he said.

SICCI and GPPOL hosted the BA5 event with its members last week as a drive for the national campaign against the CRB.

The event convened members to listen from a presentation by GPPOL and Biosecurity highlighting updates regarding the pest.

Infested sites include Guadalcanal (2014-2015), Malaita (2016), part of Russell Islands (2016-2017), Savo (2016), Ngella (2016), Ulawa (2017), Gizo (2017), Shortlands (2000) and Renbel (2017-2018)(to be confirmed).

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