The production of fruit offers one of the most important opportunities for income generation, employment creation and improvement in food and nutritional security, in Africa. However, fruit production is significantly constrained by a variety of factors including insect pests, some of which are considered quarantine pests, resulting in the rejection of produce from Africa in export markets.
Most fruit growers are smallholders who often lack access to effective pest and disease control tools, forcing them to rely on synthetic insecticides, which are often ineffective, eliminate natural enemies of the pests, exceed the maximum residue level (MRL) legislation set by the European Union, and are detrimental to the health of the growers, consumers and the environment.
Over the years, icipe in collaboration with partners from Africa, Asia, Europe and USA, has developed integrated pest management (IPM) packages for exotic and native fruit flies, the key pests of fruits. The icipe fruit fly IPM packages are aimed at reducing yield losses and the huge expenditure incurred by farmers to purchase pesticides. They are also intended to mitigate the health and environmental risks associated with the use (and misuse) of such chemicals.
Overall, icipe’s goal is to increase the competitiveness of fruit from SSA in local and international markets, and to elevate the income and livelihoods of people involved in the value chain, especially women and the youth.
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