Fruit fly readiness planning
Readiness and response activities for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) have been a focus of many articles in The Bulletin lately, but there is also plenty of similar readiness work underway for other organisms, both within the kiwifruit industry and at a national level.
Fruit fly in particular remains a high priority given the market access implications that can result from incursions of this pest.
While we are relatively well prepared for fruit fly with a tried and tested response plan, and a surveillance grid of around 8,000 pheromone traps checked on a fortnightly basis, incursions can still be costly to our industry as a result of market access restrictions. Horticultural sectors and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) are working together on a shared work programme under Government Industry Agreements (GIA) to improve our readiness and reduce the impact of any future fruit fly incursion. Projects are cost shared and delivered under the Fruit Fly Council and Technical Working Group, which KVH is represented on.
As September marks the beginning of the high-risk season for fruit fly incursions, MPI is also beginning their summer campaign to reduce the likelihood of incursions. One initiative underway is the use of new hologram technology at Auckland International Airport to educate travellers about the damage a hitchhiking fruit fly could do to New Zealand orchards.