Assessment of IPM against the Mediterranean fruit fly implemented at regional scale in Tunisia
Abstract: The medfly is the major pest of Citrus industry in Tunisia. It is still controlled by repeated chemical sprays with OP insecticides such as Malathion. Aware of the negative effects of pesticides on human health, biodiversity and environment, the research and Ministry of Agriculture joined their efforts to implement an IPM strategy to control the medfly. A program combining 1/monitoring and 2/mass-trapping + sanitation + reasoned chemical control, was considered as efficient to protect Citrus fruits and to reduce the number of sprays. In order to generalize the application of this program, in 2010-12, the Ministry of Agriculture tried it on 300 ha of Citrus in the region of Takelsa located in Cap-bon. There, the farmers received for free all the material needed to apply the program: Moskisan® traps, Biolure Tripack® and killdisc. During the last campaign 2016-17, the IPM strategy was extended to all the Governorates in the country, where Citrus are grown. The aim of this study was to assess the application and adoption of these programs by farmers and to highlight the constraints for their sustainability. For that, 2 surveys have been conducted: the first in 2015 in the region of Takelsa on 50 farmers and the second in 2017 on 40 farmers: 20 from Takelsa and Menzel Bou Zelfa (Cap-bon) and 20 from Mornag to determine the influence of their socio-economic profile on the success of such programs. The surveys showed that the IPM adoption was very low: 10% in 2015 in Takelsa, confirmed in 2017 with 10% in Cap-bon and 20% in Mornag. In 2017, in both regions most farmers (around 70%) partially adopted the IPM strategy which represents a progress compared to 2015 when it was the case for only 12% of the farmers and the majority (78%) did not adopt the IPM. According to the farmers the program was efficient to protect the fruits and it allowed to reduce the chemical sprays: for around 50% of the farmers and 87%, respectively, in 2015 and 2017. But the farmers persisted to use the OP insecticides: Malathion, Dimethoate and Deltamethrine. Finally the studies identified the key constraints for IPM transfer and suggested recommendations and an action plan for a future area-wide IPM strategy on Citrus.