KVH presents to Maori Kiwifruit Grower Forum
Yesterday the Maori Kiwifruit Grower Forum was officially launched to advocate on behalf of these growers and ensure they are well informed of key issues.
Biosecurity is one such issue and KVH presented to the group to seek their support in our bid for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval to release a biocontrol agent, should one day the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) establish in New Zealand.
BMSB is a significant threat to kiwifruit and horticultural industries given that it is highly likely to enter our borders and establish here, causes significant impacts to horticultural industries and also to the public by infesting their homes, and is extremely difficult to control requiring frequent applications of toxic insecticides.
However, in countries where BMSB is native, a biocontrol exists that keeps BMSB populations in check by parasitising their eggs. This is the Samurai midge (Trissolcus japonicus) which has been the subject of intense research and host testing in both New Zealand and the USA to determine its suitability as a biocontrol agent. This process is nearly complete and we hope to have an EPA decision by September of this year.