There are threats to major industries like copra, coffee, and oil palm, says NAQIA officials.
A technical officer says despite efforts to stop the coffee berry borer, there are fears that the pest is either in Madang or Morobe. NAQIA’s General Manager Technical Division David Tenekanai says the pest flies and can easily travel to other places.
With the current effort to stop the borer from spreading, there are fears of the pest moving to other provinces in the Highlands region.
“The berry borer can fly thus making it difficult for authorities to control its movement”, said Tenekanai.
NAQIA has been working closely with the Coffee Industry Corporation to monitor and help farmers eliminate the coffee borer. NAQIA has now officially declared the coffee berry borer an endemic pest.
Meanwhile, the coconut industry is under threat by the Bogia coconut syndrome.
NAQIA is urging players in these industries to help beef-up biosecurity efforts. “Big players or companies must support NAQIA by putting money where their mouth is”, said Tenekanai.
“They cannot depend on NAQIA, we are stressed with capacity, manpower, and funding,“ added Tenekanai.
By Jack Lapauve Jnr – EM TV News, Port Moresby