Current status on stored product protection in São Tomé & Principe
Abstract: São Tomé & Principe is located in the Gulf of the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. About half of the country’s total 96,000 ha are used in agriculture. The economy of São Tomé & Príncipe is dominated by cocoa export, which represents 95% in value of the country’s revenue. Food-crop importing is essential for population subsistence. Rice consumption requires 6230 tons, with 4132 tons arriving as donation. Customs supervise the state of goods before harbouring and during storage, mainly in warehouse structures. The methodology adopted is visual inspection and absolute samples. The present work aimed at evaluating the key-pests of rice and bean from arrival, during storage until reaching the markets. From January 2004 to December 2012, 151 rice and 160 bean samples were collected and analysed at the CIAT laboratory. Samples were obtained from ships and public and private storage facilities. From all samples, collected only eight rice and 17 bean samples were infested. The year and origin were reported to identify source of infestation. On rice, the main insects’ species were Sitophilus spp. and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst). Sitophilus sp. was more abundant and T. castaneum occurred in all infested samples. Acanthoscelides obtectus (Say) and Bruchus pisorum (L.) and were identified in bean samples, with 70% and 30% of occurrence respectively. On rice and bean the major fungi incidence was related with Aspergillus genera. In S. Tome and Principe, due to equatorial weather conditions, the major risk is related with fungi contamination, namely with Aspergillus spp., as mycotoxin producer. Insects can play an important role as vectors for fungi dissemination.