SOLOMON STAR NEWS - Fighting mass invasion of pests in our country is everybody’s business, Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Jimi Saelea says.

In an interview with the Solomon Star this week Saelea said the fight against giant African snail and Oryctes Rhinoceros that destroys our coconut trees, needs the cooperative efforts of all citizens to contain the spread of these pests.

He said Ministry alone cannot control the spread of these pests, since they are under-resource, thus required collective efforts of everyone to work alongside MAL to manage the growing population of these pests.

PS cautioned that since this nation made up of widely scattered islands it is important that people report to the ministry as soon as they see any sign of these pests in other provinces, as their presence is only found in Guadalcanal.

“By close monitoring of these pests from entering other islands, it is the only approach on the ground that could help us prevent them breeding in our shores,” he continued.

Saelea warned that giant African snail is a real threat to the livelihood as it not only destroy farms but also spoils the natural environment we enjoy.

He said the beetles that ate the coconut leaves found in the eastern parts of Honiara probably enter our country five years ago and they are here to stay.

“What we can do now is to work together with the ministry to control the increasing population of these pests, before they could invade other provinces in the country,” he added.

PS further revealed that their budget to fight unwanted pests is not enough to fully utilise the capacity to fight these threats, however, they are committed to contain the spread of these pests with the limit resources they have.

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