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By Thelma Allingham

Following reports from the Wewak office, a team of two female officers from the Kokonas Indastri Koporesen (KIK) Stewart Research Station in Madang, confirmed the presence of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, in Aitape town during their visit to Sandaun Province.

This was confirmed by Crop Protection Team Leader Ms Aloma Motamota and Coconut Based Farming System Team Leader Serah Joe who specialises in Intergrated Farming or Mixed crop farming.

The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles are harmful coconut pests.

Ms Aloma Motamota during her awareness speech to locals of Roma village in Maprik District said the purpose of her visit was to confirm the presence of the beetle and take back samples to identify if the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle is a Pacific biotype, that was present in PNG since the world war II, or the Guam biotype, that was recently introduced into the country in 2019.

She emphasizes that the newly introduced Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Guam biotype is now a threat to the coconut industry as it cannot be controlled by the Oryctes Nudivirus, a bio control agent that supress Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles. 

The team visited parts of East Sepik and Sandaun this week doing awareness on Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle and the importance of Integrated Farming or Mixed farming.

Their visit ended with a trip to Roma Village to visit one of KIK’s major nursery sites in Maprik District.  

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