More research needed to reduce crop pestilence

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By Notícias. 20 November 2017. Originally posted in Portuguese; translated using Google Translate services.

Research and the development of research projects are one of the alternatives to reduce the harmful effects of pests, which contribute to the destruction of 30 percent of national agricultural production.

Photo credit: Notícias online

The point of view was defended by University Dean Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), Orlando Quilambo, who spoke at the first conference on biological invasions, which ended a few days ago in the city of Maputo.

The head of the country’s largest higher education institution said that the results of the studies and their recommendations should be known to producers, field technicians and other stakeholders in agriculture. He said investment in tests of new pest control technologies is also needed.

Reinforcing the idea of ​​Emilio Tostão, Rector of EMU, of the Center for the Study of Agro-Food Policies and Programs (CEPPAG), said that it is necessary to involve more teaching institutions and research entities in the fight against pests.

Augusto Jaime, of Vanduze’s company, said that better coordination is needed between research institutions, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) and producers, who need scientific advice.

“The studies look at whether internationally accepted standards are being met. The MASA must prove the data, so that the producers can have carte blanche to sell their production inside and outside the country, “he said.

In addition to the research, the conference participants stressed that it is necessary to strengthen the legal framework, as the issue of biological invasions is not properly mentioned in the laws in force in the country.They affirmed that in the country the actions of prevention and pest control are still weak, being necessary more investments.

In Mozambique, the number of invasive species that affect agriculture has increased in recent years as a result of climate change, human mobility and globalization. Of the 20 species of pests first recorded in the country since 1980, more than half (11) were introduced in the last 7 years.