Ministry of Agriculture intensifies snail eradication programme

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The Ministry of Agriculture is stepping up its efforts to eradicate the Giant African Snail, Telecommuni-cations and Information Technology Minister, Melford Nicholas said yesterday.
He said that the invasive species, which has been a problem to local farmers since 2008, has been a cause of concern for everyone in the country.
“You would be aware that this is a matter that has been occupying not only the Cabinet’s but the general public’s attention for a considerably [long] period of time,” Nicholas said at the weekly post-Cabinet briefing.
He said that the government has procured 2,000 pounds of bait and has embarked on a programme to eliminate the snail population in several of the 28 areas where they are more prevalent. The elimination programme has been tested in the Christian Valley and Dunbars areas.
“The Ministry of Agriculture indicated that they have identified particular agents that they have already deployed and they have seen significant changes in the population density of the snails, so the program will continue,” Nicholas said.
“I think that they are actually on a six-week monitoring cycle in terms of the areas that they are treating.”
The Giant African Snail, which reproduces very rapidly, is also capable of devouring the produce on a farm in one night.
The minister is encouraging the entire public to look out for the pests and destroy them.
However, he advised the public to first seek the advice from the respective persons within the agricultural department on the safest method of eradication whenever they become aware of the snail infestation.
“We certainly want to ensure that this matter comes under effective control in the future,” Nicholas stated.

Snails climbing the walls of All Saints Magistrate’s Court

Giant African Snails at Cassada Gardens close to the race track

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