Argentina and Chile Deter Pricey Fruit Fly Outbreaks with Assist of Nuclear Expertise – Worldwide Atomic Power Company


Small and seemingly innocent, medflies are something however, and may threaten farmers’ livelihoods, restrict the motion of crops and hurt worldwide commerce and meals safety. The larvae of the pest travels between international locations with folks and by way of fruit and vegetable motion, coming into and spreading into pest free areas and reaching business fruit manufacturing areas the place it damages the fruits. Whereas the fruits might be thrown away, the pests proceed to develop, ultimately reaching different agricultural areas — it’s an countless and cruel cycle.

“With the fixed menace of medflies shifting from one place to a different and harming the agricultural business, the best way ahead is to behave first,” stated Walther Enkerlin, an entomologist on the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Strategies in Meals and Agriculture. “Pre-emptively making use of the SIT is an environmentally pleasant mechanism which prevents the introduction and preliminary unfold of medflies earlier than they begin harming agricultural areas.”

The preventive pest management technique might be carried out by means of the discharge of sterile bugs over pest-free areas prone to pest introductions. When a pest enters such an space, sterile bugs of the identical species are able to intercept and mate — avoiding replica. This strategy known as a preventive launch programme (PRP). It was conceived within the mid 1990’s by a gaggle of worldwide consultants together with workers of the IAEA and FAO and utilized within the Los Angeles Basin and a few years later in Miami, Florida, USA. These tasks are nonetheless ongoing with a considerable discount of outbreaks in these fruit fly pest free areas, representing a cheap strategy.

Through the use of a PRP, each Argentina and Chile have been capable of deter future outbreaks that may disrupt manufacturing and exports of recent fruit and greens. “With out preventive measures, it’s usually too late to cease pest infestation and too pricey which may additionally result in an enormous financial loss in fruit and vegetable exports,” added Enkerlin.

Between the time Chile’s PRP began in January 2020 until November 2021, no new outbreaks occurred in goal the areas. Officers from SAG in Chile, hope to broaden the world of sterile fruit fly launch to stop future outbreaks, and are finishing up pilot research utilizing drones and floor launch machines to launch sterile medflies over particular localized websites.

The IAEA by means of its regional technical cooperation programme has offered assist to each  Argentina and Chile via professional recommendation, coaching, and supply of workshops protecting the totally different parts of SIT software.


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