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Tobias Gourlay


Wasps fly to Kenya to fight fruit fly

Researchers import Hawaiian wasp to help mango farmers embattled by fruit flies

Wasps fly to Kenya to fight fruit fly

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A wasp from Hawaii is the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology's (Icipe) latest weapon in its battle to overcome Kenya's fruit fly problem, according to the Business Daily newspaper in Nairobi.

In conjunction with other containing methods, the introduction of a Hawaiian wasp that was originally native to Asia and feeds on the fruit fly's eggs and larvae should bring a 90 per cent reduction in numbers, according to Dr Sunday Ekesi, who leads Icipe's fruit fly programme and claimed the pest was the biggest threat to mango production in Africa.

He said the fruit fly arrived in Kenya from Sri Lanka in 2003 and the infestation has kept Kenya locked out of potentially lucrative export markets such as Europe, Japan, the Middle East, South Africa and the US.

Icipe describes itself as an organisation engaged in "tropical insect science for development", receiving funding for its work from a consortium of donors including UN organisations and government aid agencies.

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