rhino beetle

Vanuatu confirms invasive coconut rhino beetle spread

An official from the Department of Bio-Security told the Vanuatu Daily Post that an emergency order had been issued declaring Moso Landing, Mele Bay, and Klem's Hill as quarantine zones.

Evidence of the beetle had also been found at Prima.

The emergency order was signed by the caretaker Agriculture Minister Matai Seremiah and is effective until April 2020.

The resurfacing of the dreaded beetle comes after a state of emergency last July covering areas, where the beetle was first discovered to have infested coconut plantations.

Vanuatu MP wants more action on rhino beetle

Mr Ngwele said it is likely a foreign company operating in north east Efate is responsible.

He is calling on the authorities to confirm the culprit and penalize the company, saying the beetle is having a field day destroying the coconut plantations and there is nothing done to stop its onslaught.

The Daily Post reported the director general of agriculture, Moses Amos, saying his office has neither the manpower nor the funds to fight the beetle.

The government has allocated $US447,000 to deal with the pest but Mr Ngele said this is not enough.