Invasives Blog

CABI is supporting the fight against invasive species in the Caribbean.

As part of PlantwisePlus activities and with funding from the CABI Development Fund, visits took place to support the governments of Grenada and Barbados.

Dr Yelitza Colmenarez, CABI Brazil Centre Director & Plantwise Regional Coordinator – Latin America and Caribbean, and consultant Guilherme Trivellato went to review the work of plant clinics in Grenada as part of a one-week mission.

New pest reported

Specifically, they also answered a call from the government to consider training for the biological control of a new reported pest – Croton Scale Phalacrococcus howertoni.

Plant clinics are run by trained plant doctors, where farmers receive practical plant health advice.

The PlantwisePlus programme serves to help strengthen national plant health systems from within – enabling countries to provide farmers with the knowledge they need to lose less of what they grow.

It stems from the Plantwise programme which was launched in 2011 and since spread to 34 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas – to help increase food security and improve rural livelihoods.

The Plantwise data management system was discussed and reviewed with Grenada’s national coordinator.

Data management platform

This occurred following the establishment of a National Data Management Platform. This integrates the Plantwise prescription form as part of the other forms used by extension officers in the country.

In total, two parasitoids and two species of coccinellidae, Thalassa montezumae and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, were identified as potential biological control agents of Croton Scale in the Caribbean.

CABI and the governments of Grenada and Barbados are getting to grips with the biological control of invasive crop pests to enhance food security (Credit: CABI).

A meeting was organized with the Minister of Agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries-Grenada), Senator Hon. Adrian Thomas, the Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Francois and CABI Liaison Officer Thaddeus Peters.

This was to discuss the results obtained with the implementation of the CABI activities under the Plantwise programme and the Biological Control of Invasive Species.

Reinforced food security

The Minister of Agriculture highlighted the importance of the collaboration and support provided by CABI to reinforce food security and safety in the country.

The fact that agriculture is a priority for the country was also highlighted and that finding sustainable management for the key pest and the new introduced invasive species is critical.

Meanwhile in Barbados, a one-and-a-half-day technical visit was conducted to review Plantwise activities and data management in the country.

The meeting was organized with the national coordinators and technical team to review the priority activities which have been implemented in 2022 in Grenada and Barbados.

Both countries are showing good ownership of the Plantwise components, despite the challenges they face in terms of limited human resources and infrastructure.

CABI and Grenada´s Government Officials discussed the importance of biological control of invasive crop pests to enhance food security (Credit: CABI).

Additional information

Main photo: CABI is supporting Grenada and Barbados deal with invasive crop pests as part of the Plantwise programme and under the CABI Development Fund (Credit: CABI).

Other relevant stories

See also the news stories ‘CABI supports plans for a Caribbean Invasive Alien Species Trust Fund to mitigate threats to biodiversity’ and ‘Biosecurity Interception System to be adopted across Caribbean to improve surveillance for Invasive Alien Species.’

Prevent Invasives in the Caribbean

To find out more about Invasive Alien Species in the Caribbean visit the website www.caribbeaninvasives.org which outlines how scientists are collaborating to address the issue of IAS in the Caribbean.

Relevant project

You can find out more about the project ‘Preventing COSTS of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Barbados and the OECS Countries’ here.

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