The Ministry of Agriculture of Panama reported the early detection of an outbreak of the tomato moth, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick)., In the community of El Copal, district of Rio Sereno (border with Costa Rica).
Given the importance of this pest at the level of all countries that make up the OIRSA (International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health) in March 2010, the Ministers of Agriculture of these countries signed a resolution whose main mandate that each of the countries looking at their areas of production (tomato, potato, eggplant and pepper) Tuta absoluta plague. In the case of Panama, was initiated immediately by the MIDA a thorough inspection by the different tomato-producing areas in the country are the provinces of Veraguas, Cocle, Herrera, Los Santos, Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui. It is coordinating with technicians from different directions MIDA regional executive nationally OIRSA, and the University of Panama to establish field phytosanitary measures recommended for the containment, prevention, management, control and eradication of Tuta absoluta. Among the measures to consider may include: expanding the plant surveillance system for Tuta absoluta through pheromone traps, establish buffer zones to isolate areas of greatest risk of spread of the pest. Teams will be organized application of specific chemicals to control outbreaks detected and strategic points will be established quarantine prohibiting the movement of fruits and plants from the province of Chiriqui, to other areas susceptible to this pest in the country. MAD and all entities must maintain a continuous staff training and awareness campaign targeted at technical mass producers and the wider community to achieve the acceptance of phytosanitary and quarantine measures recommended to control the pest.