Georgia: European support in fight against brown marmorated stink bug

The Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili met with the Director-General of the EPPO European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, Mr. Martin Ward. Under the frame of the global climate change, the issues related to the plant protection and pest control have been discussed by sides at the meeting. The participants drew their attention to the problem related to the brown marmorated stink bug ‘Asian stinkbug’, which damages crops, is widespread in Georgia and a real nuisance to Georgian farmers. At the meeting the sides underlined the importance of the sectoral international organizations to be engaged in the battle against the invasive pest.

According to Martin Ward, during the fight against the dangerous pest, Georgia will accumulate an experience, that will further play a significant role in the international research. "The damages inflicted by the pest in Georgia should attract international attention", was declared by the Minister of Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili.

"The damage caused by the pest to Georgia should become a basis for international alarm. Therefore, effective methods of fighting against pest should be developed and invasive species should be investigated earlier before negative impacts are assumed to other countries as well", said Levan Davitashvili.

According to Martin Ward, ‘’Asian stinkbug’’ is a new challenge faced by Georgia as well as by (EPPO) intergovernmental organization for plant protection of Europe and Mediterranean countries, he also noted, that in 2008, Switzerland faced the crucial problem related to the Asian stinkbug as well. The spread of the pest is an international problem stressed Martin Ward and expressed his wish to give full support to the Georgian side in this respect.

Under the EU support and involvement of Georgia, the team of experts and scientists will conduct a survey on Asian stinkbug to develop effective methods of fighting against the invasive pest. The most effective biocontrol agents to reduce a pest population will be created in the EU, which will facilitate compliance with EU regulations - was also noted at the meeting.

At the meeting, Martin Ward personally congratulated the Minister, and welcomed Georgia to join the (EPPO). It is noteworthy, that Georgia joined the Intergovernmental Organization for Plant Protection of European and Mediterranean Countries (EPPO) in 2016.

The Head of the National Food Agency, Zurab Chekurashvili together with the representatives of the phytosanitary department of the National Food Agency attended the meeting.

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