BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
THE national campaign against the invasive pest, the Rhinoceros Beetle, has received a major blow with the insect confirmed in Ngella.
Ngella is one of the copra hubs of the country, and the pest’s presence is a red light for the industry and the country’s economy.
Confirming this is the Agriculture Division at Tulaghi Central Islands Province (CIP) after visiting the reported spot sight this week at Central Big Ngella, Haleta Village.
Speaking to Island Sun yesterday, the agriculture division said they are now trying every way possible to stop the beetles from spreading.
“Quarantine in Honiara is waiting for a sample report to reach them so that they will travel across next week to address the issue,” said the Agriculture officers.
Rhinoceros Beetles were initially spotted at Haleta early this year but villagers only recently reported the matter after seeing the damage caused to their coconut plantations.
The Agriculture officers said that the damage done to the coconut plantations is similar to the damages at Lungga on which villagers are starting to cut down the leave branches of their coconut trees.
The beetle’s arrival at Haleta is suspected to may have been through Outboard Motors (OBM’s).