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Old December 27th, 2008, 06:22 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default Farmers fight palm tree pests in Wadi al-Jadid

DUBAI, 9 November 2008 (IRIN) - On 5 October, farmer Muhammad Tulaib woke up to the news that red palm weevils - a large species of beetle locally known as ‘sussit el-nakhil’ - were found in one of the oases in his home governorate of Wadi al-Jadid in the southwest of Egypt.

“Everyone is panicking here. We totally depend on palm farming to earn our living,” Tulaib, a father of three who has 700 palm trees in Wadi al-Jadid, told IRIN by telephone. “The weevil is very dangerous… it is the talk of the governorate today. You can hear everybody talking about it in every house and every street.”

Red palm weevils are pests to palm plantations because their larvae make holes up to a metre long in the trunks of palm trees, often killing their hosts.

Weevils were found in Kharga Oasis, which has 515,000 palms of a total 1.25 million in the governorate’s four oases, according to Muhammed Salman Ahmed, head of the extension department at the Ministry of Agriculture in Wadi al-Jadid.

Of the 51 palms in Kharga on which weevils were found, 45 have been destroyed, Ahmed said on 9 November. “More than 126,000 palm trees were inspected and 4,388 were sprayed with preventive pesticides.

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IRIN Middle East | Middle East | Egypt | EGYPT: Farmers fight palm tree pests in Wadi al-Jadid | Early Warning Economy Environment Food Security Natural Disasters | News Item
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