CIC, NRC and ITI partnership to support Department of Agriculture’s Island-wide fruit fly control

12 February 2016 12:58 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Installing of 'Basca' pheromone pellet by Director General Agriculture - Dr Rohan Wijekoon, accompanied by Mr Indika Gunawardhana - Divisional D

CIC Holdings PLC (CIC), a leadingblue chip company in Sri Lanka, recentlyjoined hands with the National Research Council and the IndustrialTechnology Institute to conduct a collaborative study to find a solution on how to manage the damage caused by fruit and melon flies. The Public PrivatePartnershipprojectsuccessfullylaunched their first locally synthesized pheromone trap to manage the fruit fly problem in Sri Lanka.

CIC commencedthe commercializingprocess of the productunder the brand name ‘BASCA’ to cater to the existingdemand and willbeavailablewithin all leading agri-input marketing retails of the country.The para-pheromoneisformulatedusing the extractsand bypurifying a variety of Maduruthala - Thulsi (OcimumSanctum) that has the ability to attract andtrapmale fruit fliesand thereby control the growing fruit flynumbers. The marketreadypheromone formula is made incorporating the extracted essential oilsinto a naturalmineralmaterial and a naturalpolymer. The product has beingevaluated as equally effective as the importedsyntheticpheromone in field trials conducted in institute of the Department of Agriculture at Mahailluppallama, Makandura, Puttlam, Kananwila, Balangoda, etc. 

Placing of 'Basca' pheromone trap by Mr Samantha Ranatunga - Managing Director,CEO of CIC Holdings PLC

Commenting on the project, Samantha Ranatunga – Managing Director / CEO, CIC Holdings stated, “CIC identified the need of the Department of Agriculture and producedthis solution as a potentially viable product to beincludedintoour portfolio. As an eco-friendlycreationthatwouldbring high return on investment for local farmers. The observedproducteffectivenessillustratedduring the preliminary investigation indicatedthat a significantreward of thisprojectis long termwithabenefit to productmanufacturers. The product uses 100% residentrawmaterials as thereand thereisno use of toxicchemicals or no chemicalresidual impact on the final harvest. Most importantlyitdoes not targetanimals and beneficiaryinsects and the naturaleco-system will not beharmed or affectedwith the use of the product.”      

Fruit fly damage isturning out to be a national issue, mainlyaffecting the field of Agriculture. The annualloss in fruits and vegetablecrops exemplifies how much of an impairmentthe fruit fly menace has caused to the Sri Lankaneconomy in the recentpast. Records indicatethatthereis more than 20% of yieldloss in cucurbits (Pumpkin / Squash) and more than 40% yieldloss in mangocrops, due to thesevicious fruit flyattacks.

With the rejection of some imports from Sri Lanka by the European Union due to the warning of fruit flyproblemin 2014, the Department of Agriculture, took an initiative to introduce a cohesive long termisland-wideproject on sustainable fruit flyeradication. Prior to thisintroduction, CIC Holdings initiated the project to come up with a solution by observing the local environment and global thereat on the fruit fly management.

Placing of first 'Basca' pheromone trap by Director General Agriculture - Dr Rohan Wijekoon

Furthercommenting on the project, Dr. Rohan Wijekoon - Director General of Agriculture,  statedthat, “This is a tremondousmilestone for the Agriculturesector in Sri Lanka. The final test resultsweresignificantlyinspiringcompared to the currentlycommerciallyavailableproducts in the market and the greatthing about the final outcome of thisprivate public partnershipisthatwewere able to come up with a natural plant extractlocallyto control fruit flydamage in Sri Lanka.”

 

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