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Minister Claims Asian Stink Bug Is Protein Source

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, March 12
The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili, says that the dangerous agricultural pest — the Asian stink bug (brown marmorated stink bug), which devastated nearly the whole nut harvest in the western regions of the country last year, is the source of protein.

The minister made the statement at the presentation of the Government’s Strategy against Brown Marmorated Bugs 2018, which includes four main directions: information campaign, implementation of the monitoring system, stink bug control measures and scientific research works.

Davitashvili explained that the concerns of the local population that the poultry eat stink bugs, is not a problem, adding they do not harm the poultry or animals.

“As for the taste of the meat of poultry that eat the stink bugs, it is up to the people whether it is acceptable for them or not,” he added.

Davitashvili evaluated the visit of American scientists and specialists in Georgia and noted that the leading experts in the world together with Georgian scientists discussed the state program at the international symposium.

According to the Minister, specialists have evaluated the measures taken by the government in 2017 and positively assessed the Strategy against Brown Marmorated Bugs 2018.

“The elimination and control of Asian stink bugs is possible but it can be achieved only through joint efforts of the state, the farmers and the whole community,” he added.

Davitashvili also noted that starting mid-March the monitoring system will be located on the whole territory of Georgia and the results will be delivered to the population regularly.

“At the moment, until the end of March, it is allowed to carry out only mechanical measures against the pest. This is why, it is the responsibility of each citizen to carry out these measures at their territory,” he noted.

Asian Stink Bugs were first reported in Georgia in 2015. In 2016, the bugs destroyed significant amount of hazelnut harvest in West Georgia, however, last year the largest amount of the pest struck Georgian regions, which destroyed not only nuts but vegetables as well.