Muscat: The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has launched an experiment to use parasites of the genus tricogramma to combat red weevil pests that nestle in date palms and damage their crop.
Fifteen farms in the Wilayat of Barka have been selected for the experiment, setting a precedent in the use of biological control agents and the calculation of the number of fighter parasites needed for every tree.
Red palm weevil is considered the most prevalent, most dangerous pest in countries producing dates. It is common in humid and coastal areas in Oman and many Arab countries. It causes considerable damage to date palms’ economic output with losses constituting 80% in some Arab countries’ crops where the larva spoil large quantities of unripe fruits.