Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regional Training Course on Fruit Fly Biocontrol in West Africa
In August 2014, Dr. Roger Vargas, of the ARS Daniel K. Inouye US Pacific Basin Research Center (PBRC), travelled to Dakar, Senegal for a workshop, “Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regional Training Course on Fruit Fly Biocontrol in West Africa.” He spoke on area-wide control of fruit flies supporting technology transfer to West African countries of environmentally sound Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technologies (sanitation, protein baits, and male annihilation). The technology was developed through the USDA-ARS-Hawaii Fruit Fly Area-Wide Pest Management program. The PBRC is a world leader in biological control of the oriental fruit fly; and they confirmed this was the offending African fruit fly that had spread quickly throughout 27 African countries, causing serious damage to mangos and other tropical fruits. The purpose of the FAO workshop was to provide local fruit fly workers from 10 West African countries with tools and knowledge to introduce natural enemies of the oriental fruit fly, and provide technical expertise for natural enemy production, handling, release, and field monitoring. Additionally, ARS obtained information on other African fruit fly species such as the Mediterranean fruit fly and peach fruit fly that threaten U. S. agriculture through accidental introductions, and often required multi-million dollar eradication programs.