The Pacific’s fragile ecosystem is constantly at risk from invasive species, pests and diseases. It is therefore vital that sustainable and appropriate management practices are developed and utilized to ensure sustained productive use of the land. Plant Health aims to promote these practices by utilizing its three main units, entomology, pathology and weeds in undertaking regular surveys of pests and diseases, providing information, creating awareness among farmers, updating information databases and assisting in eradication activities.
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 17:08
The 3rd shipment of the pathogenic rust fungus Puccinia spegazzinii is now being mass reared in the SPC quarantine laboratory in Suva. The rust is already under going its third generation which have started appearing on leaves and stems of inoculated plants.
Inoculations are carried out in a chamber where the basidiospores are able to infect the meristematic tissues under high humidity in the presence of free water. The set up is left in the chamber for a period of 24hr.
Regular monitoring of the selected sites for release will be done to evaluate, not only its establishment and performance as a biological control for mikania, but also to make assessments of any unforeseen non-target effects.
The project is still awaiting approval on it release.
Effective management can help maintain productivity of land resources,stregthen food security, safeguard the environment and increase revenue. Plant Health strives to improve awareness on environmental implications of agricultural practices and offering safer environmentally friendly options.
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