Farmers fear loss to mangoharvest from scale insects

FUJAIRAH -A group of farmers in the emirate has complained to the authorities that scale insects are causing a colossal damage to their mango harvest.

By Salah Al Debarky

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Published: Wed 16 Aug 2006, 9:52 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:10 PM

Trying to allay their fears, officials have said that the insects attack only a handful of trees depending on a host of factors.

Farmers say the insects leave scars on leaves which turn yellow slowly. There are also traces of an adhesive substance around fruits. The trees die in a couple of weeks after the attack.

Farmers say they have tried to fight the outbreak with various chemicals, but these have yielded no result. Hence, they are now thinking of giving up planting mango trees in their farms.

However, Ibrahim Abdul Rahman, Director of the Eastern Region, Ministry of Environment and Water, said, "The insects attack only thick, shadowy, mango trees. The attack is common in summer because of high humidity."

According to him, the insects strike the leaves of lower branches. "We have asked farmers to clip the lower branches, leaving wide spaces between trees and exposing them to sunlight. The infection is partly caused by the negligence on the part of farmers."

He further said that insecticides were being used to combat the pest attack.

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