The project will introduce never before used technology in the Region – a sensor which facilitates early detection of the larval stage of the South American Palm Weevil (SAPW) on coconut palms. The SAPW is a pest of major economic concern as it negatively impacts coconut production and is also a carrier for the nematode which causes Red Ring Disease. Unfortunately, the SAPW is only detected when infestation is advanced and symptoms such as tree mortality are visible. At this stage, mitigation actions are often uneconomical.
Coconut is one of the main crops found growing along the Caribbean’s coastline and contributes to its aesthetic, socioeconomic and environmental value. Due to its ability to survive in marginal and fragile environments, coconut production serves as a source of income and employment for small holder farmers. It also plays an important role in coastal protection through soil stabilization, and protection against strong winds, storm surges, flooding and hurricanes. The tree also sequesters carbon and is important in climate change mitigation.
The deployment of this technology will monitor and inform timely mitigation and control strategies for the SAPW. Early detection allows for the timely treatment of infested trees and thus reduces tree loss and removal.
In the short term the project is expected to improve the well-being and livelihoods of residents by supporting the development of resilient coastal settlements through the use of technology.
The project is funded by HIT RESET Caribbean