The Chair of Date Palm Research, King Saud University, Riyadh is organizing an International Workshop and Training Program on the “Management of Red Palm Weevil” from May 19-23, 2012. This one week training program will cover all important topics and well known researchers from Middle East and Europe besides, experts from Saudi Arabia will deliver talks mostly in Arabic with a few in English as well. Agriculture Engineers/Supervisors/Managers looking after management of RPW in their respective countries of GCC, Middle East, North Africa (Arabic speaking) are encouraged to participate in this training program. This is for your information and passing on to your colleagues and friends who may be interested in this program. Should you need further information please contact me. For brochure and more information you may visit : www.datepalm-ksu.org
A member symposium with the title “Invasion of Palm Ecosystems by Red Palm Weevil and its Management ” will be organized as a part of the 59th Annual meeting of Entomological Society of America (ESA), which will be held from 13 to16 November, 2011, at the Convention Center of the city of Reno, Nevada, USA. I am moderating this symposium with the participation of international speakers. The ESA meetings are attended by more than 6000 entomologists/policy makers/private industry from all over the world and I am sure this symposium will draw their attention to red palm weevil and its managment. The symposium will have several Saudi and international expert speakers who will deliberate on the subject of red palm weevil management which is expected to attract many audience. I will deliver the lecture entitled “Invasion of red palm weevil from South Asia to Middle East, Europe and beyond and its impact on palm cultivation”. This is being encouraged by the King Saud University. To know the speakers at this symposium see the link below.
A symposium entitled “Invasion of Palm Ecosystems by Red Palm Weevil and its Management” has been approved by the organizers of ESA annual meetings. The ESA annual meetings will take place from 13-16 November 2011 at Reno, Nevada, USA. I am trying to organize about 10 invited speakers from USA, Europe, India and Saudi Arabia my country of residence. I hope there will be good presentations and ample discussions on red palm weevil and this will provide impetus for future research in other advanced laboratories in Americas. People interested to join us should mark their calendar and make the trip to Reno where there will be largest gathering of Entomologists from all over the world. Hope to see you there.
Chair of Date Palm Research of King Saud University is organizing one week workshop cum trainng program on date palm cultivation and its pest management from 19 - 23 Feb 2011. It includes a full day program on RPW management. Last year there was a similar program in January for two weeks exclusively on RPW.
It gives me great pleasure to say Hi and wish all my readers “A very happy and prosperous New Year 2011”. We have completed first decade and entering the second of the millennium with a lot of hope and optimism. In the past one year lots of new developments have taken place and one of the most important is the report on the occurrence of R. ferrugineus from California State of USA. Though some people expressed doubts about the identification, the species has been positively identified as R. ferrugineus by the experts in USDA and University of California. This happened when I was attending the Potential Invasive Pests Workshop in October in Miami organized by Florida University. So red palm weevil is no more a potential invasive pest to USA! Before this meeting, I had the opportunity in last May to interact with researchers and managers of red palm weevil at a meeting of EU experts in Valencia, Spain. This pest is causing severe damage to Canary Island palms in the countries in Europe and various strategies are being tried to contain the pest and prevent its spread.
We now know that more concerted efforts are needed by the governmental agencies as well as the private organizations and the growers to solve this problem. On our part the Chair of Date Palm Research (formerly Red Palm Weevil Research Chair), King Saud University, has embarked on a new strategic research plan and is cooperating with other institutes, universities and Ministries. We have to bring together all the knowledge and expertise available from any corner of the world to tackle this vexed problem. Due to my preoccupation with regular duties I have not been able to blog regularly; however, I continued to reply directly to many readers who have a problem or two with the control of red palm weevil. I am addressing the minor glitz in posting of messages and soon it will be over and all postings will be visible from the new year under appropriate subheadings. I hope to continue this blog more regularly for the benefit of all my readers. I also request other friends and readers to write and share more information about the red palm weevil to enrich the knowledge base of others. I once again wish you all a Fantastic and Rewarding New Year.
Now the blog is available with a language translator. This will help non-English visitors especially Arabic speaking people to have a quick translation and this will help the people in the Gulf countries, Middle East and also North African countries besides Spain and Portugal. I wish this blog will benefit more and more palm growers in all parts of the world. I invite suggestions for further improvements in my blog. Due to my preoccupation, I could not update the blog for quite some time but, I assure you that in future it will be updated as frequently as possible. by Prof. Dr. P.S.P.V. Vidyasagar
As the world is celebrating 5 June as ‘World Environment Day’, I am glad to inform my readers on this special day, that I have recently taken up the position as chair professor of the newly created Red Palm Weevil Research Chair at King Saudi University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is very thoughtful of the University to establish a chair specifically to focus research on RPW, so as to develop new methods of controlling the weevil for the benefit of date palm farmers all over the world. We are planning to have cooperation and collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and other institutions with in the country and abroad. We are contemplating to bring together a galaxy of international experts to conduct research and find innovative solutions to the problems caused by RPW in KSA and worldwide. I will continue to blog on the site to answer questions from international visitors and also post any new information on the pest. I am happy to announce that there is going to be another website exclusively devoted to the R&D of RPW from my University. There are many features lined up for the benefit of palm farmers in the website. We thrive for excellence in RPW management in environment friendly, sustainable and viable manner. By Prof. Dr. P.S.P.V. Vidyasagar.
A very interesting story is developing on the first report of Red Palm Weevil from Willemstad, Curacao, Caribbean. This report of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus from Curacao has generated quite a bit of discussion and controversy. Hugh has commented and questioned the veracity of the R. ferrugineus species from Curacao. He wanted Gerard van Buurt of Curacao to look in to the identification of the pest. Benedikt shared his information about the export of a few date palms from Egypt to Curacao through some landscapists and the possible presence of RPW. Ajlan wanted more stringent national and international quarantine measures.
We have deviated quite a bit away from our main topic of discussion. Here the point we want to know is whether the report of R. ferrugineus from Curacao is correct or not. If somebody is expressing doubts, then it should be cleared beyond any iota of doubt. For this purpose, we need to know complete details about this matter, from a cross section of people belonging to this particular region especially Gerard van Buurt and also Hugh. Once it is confirmed that RPW, R. ferrugineus indeed is present, then all palms including imported date palms (ornamental) and also coconut palms abounding in the region should be monitored by the local authorities.
Next point that comes to mind is the distribution and coexistence of two species of palm weevils, R. palmarum and R. ferrugineus at the same place. If so, which one is more dominating and how is the newly reported species finding its feet in the new region? What are its preferred host plants? Likewise several other aspects need to be explored by researchers and the stake holders like farmers, landscapists, policy makers etc should be informed about the ill effects of the new species in their environment. Public and private sector should work together in tackling this problem more effectively. Not only this but other countries in the region should be alerted and a regional conference called immediately to address the impending problem.
Although stringent international quarantine laws are in place, there are several loopholes in the procedures and methods adopted. Certainly FAO /IPPO/EPPO can initiate action in coordinating the regional groups and expert panels to recommend tangible actions. However, it is the responsibility of individual governments to take appropriate action in arresting the spread of this menace.
I wish all visitors and contributors to my blog a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2009. The past year was eventful in the sense, that there were alarm bell ringing about climate change in various forums worldwide and most of the agencies have started focusing on this impending peril. Of course it is imperative that the first victim of climate change would be agriculture especially in fragile ecosystems. Under the rapidly changing conditions of industrialization, population growth in some parts, demand on land for increased food production, generation of astounding amounts of waste, mass consumerism in some countries, and others, palm trees cannot escape the wrath of climatic changes in the coming decades. Our knowledge about the impact of these weather changes on the population dynamics of Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliv in various agro-climatic zones as well as palm based cropping systems is limited. Hence, it is necessary to formulate research projects on these aspects, so as to generate adequate information to deal with the pest more effectively. In the coming years, more attention should be paid to study in detail the consequences of the changes in climate on the population dynamics like buildup, dispersal, survival, etc. in new areas hither to unaffected by this pest. I feel this is a priority area in view of the fact that the pest has overcome the geographical barriers to reach and cause heavy damage in new continents in the past decade and half or so. The R & D labs in public and private sector should work hard to test and validate the new and alternate technologies thoroughly in the field under the watchful eye of experts and ensure that the final product is biosafe, effective, practical, and makes economic sense for user. It is heartening to see new developments taking place in many countries to develop alternate methods of control apart from refining the existing control methods. Care should be taken to see that the new control methods do not cause ecological disaster in the long run. The success of any pest control program especially, R. ferrugineus management depends up on the net working of extension departments, training program, refresher courses, study visits etc. In spite of the availability of all resources viz., strong financials, material, skilled staff, etc. many national programs have not yielded the desired results. Though there are many reasons for this situation, perhaps it may be due to botched up strategies, plans, prioritization, execution etc. For the success of a control program, coordination among various agencies is a critical component. One should look at the pest as a dynamic system that is evolving constantly and we have to device ways and means to subjugate it before it is late. Let us hope the New Year will bring new and innovative technologies within the reach of farmers across the world. I urge the researchers, managers, policy makers, growers and people connected with this devastating pest to write their comments, views, experiences for the benefit of others.