Rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) is a major pest on coconut around Asian Pacific countries. In Samoa, several on-going control programs are implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries. These involve the use of Biological Control Methods (fungus and virus), pheromone traps and village sanitation programs.
A team of Entomologist experts, Dr Jelfina (Head of Collaboration and Dissemination Division from Indonesia Centre for Estate Crop R & D), Dr MacLean from SPC and Crops Division of MAF conducted a damage assessment survey around Upolu on the 23rd & 24th November and Savaii on the 27th November 2018. The survey aims to obtain more information to develop strategies to further control rhinoceros beetle.
MAF hosted a stakeholder consultation involving government ministries, non-government organisations and civil society organisations at Nu’u on the 29th November 2018. This was to present damage assessment survey findings and recommendations for CRB control strategies as way forward. There was more emphasis on Integrated Pest Management practices for control measures.
Dr. MacLean highlighted in his presentation the need to be cautious of the CRB – Guam type that has not yet invade the coconut industry in Samoa. It is believed that the CRB – G type is a major economic pest to the coconut industry. Therefore, our border controls should be emphasized through regular quarantine surveillance.