New cassava pest appears for first time in Viet Nam
HCM CITY — The cassava pink mealybug, an invasive pest species that can kill cassava plants by eating the sap, has appeared for the first time in Viet Nam in the south-eastern province of Tay Ninh, one of the country's leading producers of the tuberous root.
The insect, which has appeared in many countries including in Southeast Asia, can spread quickly to other places through the transport of infected cassava stem cuttings for planting, and is also carried by wind, water, animals, human beings, tools, and vehicles.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Tuesday instructed Tay Ninh and the Plant Protection Department to carry out prevention and control measures against the pest.
The measures include a survey of affected areas by local authorities, reports to the provincial administration and the department, and destruction of all infected plants under the latter's supervision.
No part of cassava plants – stems, leaves, roots – from infected areas can be transported from the province to other places.
Tay Ninh authorities will provide financial support to farmers whose plants have to be destroyed.
The department will provide training to local plant protection officials and farmers in ways on prevent the pest, including guidance on the kinds of insecticides to be used to destroy it.
It has also been tasked with bolstering plant quarantine inspections to prevent the entry of the pest into the country through borders and its spread from infected areas.
It will carry out regular inspections and ensure local authorities carry out measures to ward off attacks by the pest. — VNS