The Oriental Fruit Fly poses a threat to citrus and grapes along the Orange River.

Durban - Several detections of the oriental fruit fly has been reported in the Orange River area within the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality in the Northern Cape.

Also known as Bactrocera dorsalis, The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced earlier this year in February and April that several detections of this pest were reported at regular intervals between Groblershoop and Upington, including Grootdrink, Karos, Keimoes, Augrabies as well as Kakamas, areas alongside or close to the Orange River.  

With citrus and grapes being the main fruit produced in the affected area, these detections pose a serious threat to production of these fruit crops as they are also preferred hosts of the Oriental Fruit Fly. This pest could have dire consequences for food security, yield reduction job losses, market restrictions, if not properly controlled..

The department is implementing phytosanitary measures where infested areas are quarantined in terms of the Agricultural Pests Act, 1983. This method will be used to contain the spread of the pest in the affected area.

Members of the public are advised to not remove the fruit-fly trapping buckets placed along roadsides in production areas and other public areas.

All traders and transporters of fruit and vegetables that are hosts of the Oriental fruit fly must apply to the department for a removal permit if fruit from infested areas are removed or destined to be sold in the areas that are free from the Oriental Fruit Fly.

The Independent on Saturday