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The 18th International Plant Protection Congress will be held in Berlin, Germany, August 24-27, 2015. In this congress, there will be a workshop on “Management of the South American Tomato Leafminer, Tuta absoluta” on August 25, 2015 starting at 7.30 pm and lasting three hours.
This workshop will review the biology, spread, damage, monitoring and the control tactics including regulatory, physical, cultural, chemical and biological methods. There will be a discussion on current Tuta absoluta projects worldwide and the possible initiation of national, regional and global projects for the management of T. absoluta and the current and potential role of donor agencies.

For information contact:

Prof. Rangaswamy Muniappan
IAPPS Coordinator
Region XIII: North America

rmuni@vt.edu

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This report presents the conclusions and recommendations from the ‘Sensitizing workshop on Tuta absoluta: An impending threat to tomato production”, held in Lalitpur on March 13. Purpose of this workshop was to educate stakeholders regarding the impending threat of Tuta absoluta and the importance of monitoring to prevent its invasion and spread.
Tomato is the most important vegetable crop in Nepal. The tomato leafminer, a native of South America, was accidentally introduced in to Spain in 2006. Since then it has invaded to other European, North African, and Mediterranean countries. Now that it has just been reported in India, there are no natural barriers to its spread into Nepal. It is a devastating pest of tomato, and if no control measures are taken, it will likely cause up to 80-100% yield losses. The exceptional speed and extent to which it has invaded several countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa leads us to believe that it will soon invade Nepal. Tomato is the preferred host even though it can develop on other solanaceous host plants such as eggplant, potato, pepper, tobacco, nightshade, and Jimson weed.
The workshop was hosted by the International Development Enterprises (iDE Nepal) funded through the Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab. The program was chaired by Dr. Min Nath Poudyal, Planning Director, Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC). Forty seven participants attended, including major scientists and experts from different organizations e.g. DoA, NARC, University professors, private companies, USAID representative and other related stakeholders. The list of workshop participants is attached in the Annex. Dr. Muni Muniappan gave a key note speech on Tuta absoluta- its biology, plants affected by it, its geographical distribution, and its economic impact; monitoring and control methods; and the detection, and management of recent outbreaks.

 

Tuta absoluta

Link to the Tuta absoluta workshop flyer: http://www.oired.vt.edu/ipmil/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Report-Tuta-absoluta-Workshop.pdf

Reported by: SULAV PAUDEL | IPM Program Coordinator | iDE Nepal
PO Box: 2674, Kathmandu, Nepal
Office: 00977-01-5520943 (Ext: 207) Cell: 9857011122
spaudel@idenepal.org | sulavpaudel111@gmail.com

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MARCH 18, 2015 BY ABIGAIL RUMSEY LEAVE A COMMENT
Abigail Rumsey:

Plantwise plant doctors have been helping farmers in Kenya to identify and manage the devastating invasive tomato pest, Tuta absoluta.
Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:

Watch a new video illustrating the devastating impacts that Tuta absoluta is having on tomato yields, and what this means for farmers who rely on these crops for sustenance and income.

Dr Arne Witt, from CABI commented on the implications of Tuta absoluta infestation across Africa
“Tomatoes are one of the most widely cultivated crops in Africa and are grown in the backyards of almost every homestead across sub-Saharan Africa. This important cash crop and source of vitamins is now threatened by the recent arrival of the tomato leafminer,  Tuta absoluta.
This Invasive Alien Species is rapidly moving down the African continent, having already decimated crops in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and northern Tanzania. Growers are at their wits end as to how best they can control this pest and many have abandoned tomato growing altogether. The race is on to prevent its spread further south with various interventions planned…

To view video:  http://blog.plantwise.org/2015/03/18/tuta-absoluta-on-the-rampage-in-africa/

Note: Tuta absoluta has now invaded India and is poised to move into neighboring countries in Asia. A workshop on Tuta absoluta will be conducted at the XVIII IPPC (International Plant Protection Congress) in Berlin, 24-27 August 2015. Workshop organizer is Dr. R. Muniappan, Program Director, Feed the Future IPM Innovation Lab, VA Tech University <rmuni@vt.edu>

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Standard Digital News

BY KIBIWOTT KOROSS Updated Saturday, February 7th 2015 at 00:00 GMT +3

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Tomatoes affected by the deadly Tuta absoluta pest. Farmers in various parts of the country are counting losses following the outbreak of the pest can that can destroy up to 100 per cent. Photo courtesy Kenya Biologics Ltd.

NAIROBI: Farmers are worried following an outbreak of a pest attack that is wiping away tomatoes in Rift Valley and Central. The pest known as Tuta absoluta, a grey-brown moth that is 7mm, wipes out up to 100 per cent of the yield within days and has no known cure. The invasive pest attacks fruits both in the open farm and in the greenhouses. ‘Smart Harvest’ interviewed some of the affected farmers who have recorded huge losses. Julius Kibor, a farmer from Kibendo in Elgeyo Marakwet County says crops, which would have been harvested between November and January, were wiped out by the pest. “Most of us thought it was blight. We learnt too late that it was Tuta absoluta. The pest has wiped away all our produce,” says Kibor.

Tuta absoluta feeds on the leaves and the fruits of tomatoes. It lays eggs, which are 0.5 mm long and can be found on the underside of young leaves or on the stems. Young larvae are about a millimetre long, yellowish in colour but after sometime they become green and up to 7mm long. This makes it difficult for farmers to notice when it strikes especially in new zones. Agricultural expert Joyce Njoroge, says the pest is lethal and a female pest can produce up to 260 eggs in 21 days. Njoroge, who works with Kenya Biologics Ltd, a consortium of scientists who help farmers with information on how to improve crop production, says the pests can destroy 100 per cent of the crops in the field. Njoroge explains: “It is not a viral disease nor is it blight. These are very dangerous pests, which can destroy a whole harvest.” The larval period, according to scientist is the worst stage where the pest grows into a caterpillar which feeds on the leaves of the tomato. According to Dr Wilson Rono, a food crop scientist at the Food Agricultural Organisation, the moth destroys the photosynthetic activity of plant and thereby destroying the whole crop. Rono says: “…a multi-institutional technical team comprised of Mininistry of Agriculture, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), Kenya Agricultural Research Organisation (Karlo) and University of Nairobi, was constituted to carry out survey on the pest. The team was rallied together following reports by stakeholders indicating the presence of a new pest causing symptoms resembling the migratory tomato leaf miner.” The Government has embarked on public awareness and capacity building of the extension service providers, plant inspectors, transporters, county market personnel and the farmers on identification skills and general management of the pest.

Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000150798/kenyan-tomato-farmers-count-losses-as-pest-ravages-crop

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http://www.icar.org.in/en/node/8600

Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Invasive species, alien species, exotic pests, or invasive alien species, are common names that categorize non-native animals, insects, microbes, diseases, or plants that are pests. These pests are not native in areas in which they cause problems and they are considered “invasive” because they invade and establish populations in new areas and the resulting uncontrolled population growth and spread causes economic or environmental problems. South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick, 1917) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) also known as the tomato leaf miner is one of the destructive invasive pest observed for the first time infesting tomato crop in Maharashtra, India. This pest has been classified as the most serious threat for tomato production worldwide. The pest has spread from South America to several parts of Europe, entire Africa and has now spread to India. Plants are damaged by direct feeding on leaves, stems, buds, calyces, young fruit, or ripe fruit and by the invasion of secondary pathogens which enter through the wounds made by the pest. It can cause up to 90% loss of yield and fruit quality under greenhouses and field conditions.

The pest was initially observed in Pune on tomato plants grown in polyhouse and fields during October 2014. The specimens were collected, identified and deposited at National Pusa Collection (NPC), Division of Entomology, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi by P.R. Shashank and K. Chandrashekar, ICAR-IARI scientists. Subsequently the pest was observed in the farmer’s fields in major tomato growing districts of Maharashtra viz., Pune, Ahmadnagar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nashik, and Satara. Severe infestation (>50% plants affected) was observed in several tomato fields.

Following the reports of Maharashtra, recent surveys conducted by researchers of Network Project on Insect Biosystematics (NPIB), University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru and ICAR-NBAIR, Bengaluru in January, 2015 observed the presence of this pest in Kolar and Bengaluru districts of Karnataka. The current report of T. absoluta from India is alarming because this pest is oligophagous and can attack several suitable solanaceous host plants. Present information is useful for adaptation of rapid response strategies against its invasion by educating farmers, extension entomologists and other stakeholders.

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