Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is going to involve aviation in the fight against the Asian stinkbugs that actively struck Georgia, especially the country’s western regions, this summer.
Aviation against Asian stink bugs
By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, September 12
The information was released by Minister Levan Davitashvili, who thinks that aviation assets should be used in non-populated areas.
“The use of aviation is quite limited because we have to use chemical pesticides to combat this pest. This means that we will use aviation in non-populated areas,” he stated.
The Minister said that around 80,000 hectares of agriculture lands have been processed with pesticides in Georgia, adding thatthe work will actively continue in the future too.
“The fight against the Asian stinkbugs continues. The state will be permanently engaged in field works, and the locals should help us too. They have to carry out mechanical or poisoning works on their agricultural lands,” Davitashvili stated.
The Minister stressed that the pest have destroyed hazelnut harvests and will switch to the other vegetables if active measures are not taken.
He added that it is planned to poison around 20,000 hectares of area by means of aviation this year.
Last week, Davitashvili met with the Director General of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), Martin Ward.
The issues related to the plant protection and pest control were discussed by at the meeting.
Special attention was paid to the problem related to the brown marmorated stink bug –the Asian stinkbug – which damages crops, has become widespread in Georgia and created serious problems for Georgian farmers.
The parties underlined the importance of engaging international organizations in the battle against the invasive pest.
"The damage caused by the pest to Georgia should become a basis for international alarm. Therefore, effective methods of fighting against the pest should be developed and invasive species should be eliminated earlier before they affect other countries as well,” Davitashvili stated.
The Georgian MOA reports that according to Martin Ward, the Asian stinkbug is a new challenge faced by Georgia as well as by EPPO. He noted that in 2008, Switzerland faced the crucial problem related to the Asian stinkbug as well.
Martin Ward added that the pest is an international problem and expressed his desire to give full support to Georgia in this respect.
“With theEU support andinvolvement of Georgia, a team of experts and scientists will conduct a survey on Asian stinkbug to develop effective methods of fighting against the invasive pest,” the MOA reports.