The threat of red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus to date plantations of the Gulf region in the Middle-East: An economic perspective

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Abstract:

The Gulf region of the Middle-East which accounts for nearly 30% of the global date production has been threatened by the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus a lethal tissue borer of young date palms, Phoenix dactylifera since the mid 1980s. The economic loss due to eradication of severely infested palms between 1 and 5% infestation is estimated to range from $5.18 to $25.92 million, respectively. Besides this, the indirect losses would increase this several fold. Further, we also estimated the saving due to curative treatment of palms in the early stage of attack at the above infestation levels to range from $20.73 to $103.66 million, respectively. Considering the severity of the loss and also the loss saved, it is suggested that countries in the region strengthen the on-going management programmes against this lethal pest.

Keywords: DATE PALM; ECONOMIC LOSS; RED PALM WEEVIL; RHYNCHOPHORUS FERRUGINEUS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1564/20jun11

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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