BURKINA FASO – Burkina Faso’s Council of Ministers has passed a regulatory Act that will allow the country to import biopesticides as a means of tackling the fruit fly menace.

The mango makes up over 50% of the fruits produced in Burkina Faso. The sector has numerous challenges, the most significant of which is the fruit fly, as in the majority of the countries in the sub-region.

The regulatory Act authorizes the Interprofessional Mango Association (APROMAB) to import phytosanitary items valued at CFAF 231 million (U.S$373,000) from Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.

For 132 million FCFA (U.S$214,815), 44,000 “Magnet MED” traps will be purchased in the first nation, together with 880 “TUBS of Splat Mat ME” for 44 million FCFA (U.S$71,605). In addition, Mali is anticipated to send a cargo of 55,000 “Ceratinex” traps worth 55 million CFA francs (U.S$$89,300).

This decision was prompted by decisive trials on the use of these products in the fight against fruit flies in numerous countries of the West African sub-region, according to the specifics of the communiqué of the Council of Ministers.

Additionally, it comes at a time when the nation is struggling financially as a result of the attacks.

“For the 2021/2022 campaign, fruit fly attacks led to the premature fall of several thousand fresh mangoes in the orchards and a loss of more than 400 million CFA francs ($649,000) in terms of fruit exports for all the players in the value chain,” say the authorities.

As per official figures, mango shipments bring in roughly 20 billion FCFA (U.S$32.4 million) annually for the nation.

Project to fight fruit flies

In 2016, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) launched the Support Project to Regional Plan to Control and Fight Fruit Flies in West Africa (PLMF).

The €23.5 million (U.S$25.1 million) project, backed by the European Union and French Development Agency (AFD) involves 8 countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, and Senegal.

Monitors track the level of fruit fly infestation issuing early alerts via SMS to producers and governmental plant protection departments. These alerts include tips on how to take effective treatment steps against fruit flies.

Between 2014 and 2018, the number of fruit cargoes affected or destroyed by parasites decreased by 57% as a result of this innovative surveillance technique.

Mango exports from the ECOWAS region to Europe increased by nearly 40%, which benefited local growers and small enterprises.

An unprecedented collaboration between regional and national stakeholders—public and private—also led to training in integrated pest management strategies and information sharing regarding the new European phytosanitary legislation, which is more stringent for exports.

It also aided in the development of a resource pool of professionals that the area can now access.

Moreover, several laboratories like the National Specialization Center for Fruits and Vegetables (CNS-FL) in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, which aims to become the region’s center of excellence in the subject, benefited from the project.

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