2014-03-01 11:05:20 -
The palms with the greatest importance in world commerce are the coconut and the African oil palm; both are prime sources of vegetable oil and fat. Few plants are as versatile as the coconut. The husk of the fruit is the source of coir, used for ropes and mats; the hard inner fruit layer is used as fuel and to make charcoal, cups, bottles, and trinkets; coconut “juice” or “water” is a tasty beverage; the flesh is eaten raw or dried to form copra, a source of oil and oil cake; the flesh may also be grated, mixed with water, and pressed to obtain coconut milk, used in food preparation and as a substitute for cow’s milk.
Coconut oil is one
of nine internationally traded vegetable oils and ranks eighth in global production. Demand grew by 8 percent annually during 1993 to 2004. As of 2006, the U.S. annually imported 190 million pounds of coconut oil, whose worldwide trade reached $20 million. Due to the civil wars and crop failures the coconut oil prices hiked in EU, which has doubled during 2010-2011, nearing $2,000 per ton, according to the UK Grocer.
Dynastinae or rhinoceros beetles are a subfamily of the scarab beetle family (Scarabaeidae). Other common names – some for particular groups of rhinoceros beetles – are for example Hercules beetles, unicorn beetles or horn beetles. Over 300 species of rhinoceros beetles are known. Many rhinoceros beetles are well known for their unique shapes and large sizes. The Dynastinae are among the largest of beetles, reaching more than 150 mm in length, but are completely harmless to humans because they cannot bite or sting. The rhinoceros beetle is native to Africa, China, Myanmar/India, and Southeast Asia and has been introduced to several Pacific Islands including Tonga, Samoa, Palau, Fiji, and Guam.
The rhinoceros beetle is considered a major pest of coconut palms and African oil palm. It can be also found in betel nut, banana, pineapple, and sugarcane. Adults damage living palms, either killing the tree due to direct damage, or opening up the tree to fatal damage from other insects or pathogens. On Pacific Islands with no natural enemies of this beetle, the damage can be extreme. In Palau, where the beetle first invaded in 1942, the coconut palm was eradicated entirely on some islands, with overall loss reaching 50%.
Coconut rhinoceros beetle adults damage palms by boring into the centre of the crown, where they injure the young, growing tissues and feed on the exuded sap. As they bore into the crown, they cut through the developing leaves. When the leaves grow out and unfold, the damage appears as V-shaped cuts in the fronds or holes through the midrib.
In Rjim Maatoug, Tunisia, rhinoceros beetle target date palm trees causing severe damage that can result in potential danger to human life due to collapse of the tree.
In the Sultanate of Oman, the infestation of rhinoceros beetle increased from 30 % in 1983 to 68% in 1986, Kinawy (1987).
Prevention methods used to control damage caused by rhinoceros beetle are physical control, biological control, chemical control and cultural control. In physical control a simple trap is designed to trap rhinoceros beetle which consists of a piece of holed coconut trunk with a tin can placed right below it leaving no space between them. This method is time taking as well as inefficient.
In biological control the adult beetle is dipped in suspension of ground, infected grubs. They are then allowed to crawl about for 24 hours through sterilized sawdust mixed with the above suspension. And the infected grubs are then released in the ground so that they infect the other beetles present in ground. They will then disturb their breeding cycle. This method can have an adverse impact on non-target beneficial species too.
In chemical control many harmful insecticides are used to control rhinoceros beetle like ethyl 4-methyloctanoate, ethyl chrysanthemumate, gamma-BHC, Cypermethrin. These chemicals are highly toxic and can cause health as well as environment hazard.
This being an agricultural application, measures taken to protect food should not contain toxic products by any means as it will be more harmful and lead to many other problems. So the protection should be non-toxic, non-hazardous and eco-friendly.
C Tech Corporation caters to this problem with its niche product Termirepel™ which is non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmental friendly termite aversive which also repels 500 species of insects. Its life span is 25-40 years depending on the end application. It can be easily incorporated in agricultural tubing and hosing, drip irrigation, agricultural films, tarps, mulches. As it does not leach out from the application it does not contaminate ground water and soil.