Vanuatu civil servants help authorities eradicate Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

Civil servants in Vanuatu are helping authorities eradicate the Coconut Rhinoceres Beetle (CRB) that is wreaking havoc on coconut plantations in parts of the country.

The Vanuatu Public Service Commission has approved the release of employees under each ministry to be engaged in the CRB State of Emergency that is currently happening at Mangaliliu.

About 100 officers from within these ministries are engaged in eradication programme.

The Government has declared a state of emergency in parts of the island of Efate due to an infestation of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle.

The order covers north-west Efate, from Gideon’s Landing to Arar Point and parts of Lelepa island.

Vanuatu’s Department of Biosecurity is leading the effort to halt the spread Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle and eradicate them from North Efate.

A team was out in the field on Friday last week, identifying infested coconuts, cutting down and burning breeding sites, and destroying their grubs.

New Zealand is supporting the Department of Biosecurity to undertake monitoring and management on the incursion and has also provided funds to SPC and AgResearch as part of the regional response to Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle.

The Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Bio-Security, Forestry and Fisheries (MALBFF), Moses Amos, confirmed the amount approved by the Council Of Ministers to be Vt55.5 million (US$484,000).
Amos explained that the funds will go towards two phases of the Biosecurity Emergency Response Programme. 
Around Vt35.5 million (US$309,000) for the first phase will be sourced from the National Disaster Emergency Fund.

It will cover the costs of increasing the task-force to 100 people in response to the seriousness of this CRB outbreak.
Vt20 million (US$174,000) has been allocated for the second phase which involves biological control.


Photo courtesy S.Joy/Facebook Caption: CRB grubs 



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