KOTA TINGGI: The Johor Agriculture Department is currently monitoring red palm weevil (RPW) infestations on palm trees, especially date palm, said its director Ahmad Kamil Mohd Yunus.
He said at the moment the department was controlling the situation with the use of RPW pesticides to ensure the infestations were under control and not threatening crops.
“Together with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), we are also monitoring the red palm weevils in oil palm plantations,” he said after launching an agricultural support services programme at Kampung Temenin Baru, Kota Tinggi here recently.
He said under the Plant Quarantine Act 1976, the date palm trees were not allowed to be imported or brought in as they were linked to the entry of harmful pests, which will not only affect date palms but also coconut and oil palm trees.
“If convicted, the guilty party can be subject to a fine of RM10,000 and will also bear all costs to control and destroy the pests,” he said.
“Right now, if we detect the presence of the pest on any plantations, a notice will be issued to the farmers to destroy the trees,” he said in response to the attacks on date palm plantations in the east coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu.
On the service programme, he said the practice of going to the ground was a direct and great way to learn about problems faced by farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs and subsequently in resolving them.
A total of 57 Johor agricultural officers took part in the programme to give advice to farmers on growing of durian and duku trees, kelulut honey production as well as on nursery management. – Bernama