Koppert forges partnership with ISCA, TEC-IB to control RPW plague
Koppert has forged a partnership with ISCA Technologies and TEC-IB to offer a system of complete control of the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus). The plague has caused significant losses to the industry of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in the Middle East, since it first occurred in the region in 1980.
 
The three companies will work together to develop a highly effective package to manage the plague and focus on its intensive control. 
 
ISCA developed three innovative technologies for the management of the red palm weevil in the region of the Persian Golf: Hook RPW, SPLAT Beetle Repel and ISCA Smart Traps.
 
Hook RPW is a long-term formulation that attracts and kills without the necessity of a trap. SPLAT Beetle Repel is a highly effective repellent formulation that impedes the red palm weevil from attacking the palm trees and creates barriers to its movement and proliferation.
 
ISCA Smart Traps are electronic traps that are highly sensitive and precise, capable of transmitting instantaneously the data captured for the internet, aiming at an immediate analysis. The adoption of these technologies will bring a much effective control in the gulf region and will help make eradication possible.
 
In the last three decades, mass capture by one or more pheromone traps per hectare represented the standard for the control of the red palm weevil, but the problem with the plague has persisted. This is because the pheromone bucket traps are hard to maintain, the conformity for the maintenance of these traps is low and the number of traps that can be implemented within a given field is limited, normally not exceeding two point of control per hectare. In contrast, Hook RPW is applied on densities of 250 points of control per hectare. 
 
“ISCA, Koppert and TechIB are working together to provide the Persian Gulf region a system of complete control of the red palm weevil. The goal is to supply the producers of date palms the most effective and advanced tools for the detection and control of this plague, while it simplifies the work involved and the impact over the environment. With the adoption of these powerful tools in a more focused approach, we believe that the eradication of the red palm weevil is a real possibility,” commented William Urrutia, director of Business Development at ISCA.
 
Yassin Lahiani, export manager at Koppert, concurred with Urrutia, adding that “never before was there a focused and intensified approach against this significant problem for producers. Now, we have three respected companies combining to working toward the biological control of this major plague. The results, therefore, should be impressive”.
 
Koppert, ISCA and TEC-IB announced the new agreement at the Global Innovation Forum on Agriculture 2017. The event was held last week at the National Exposition Center of Abu Dhabi, UAE, and aims to provide a platform to show to the world a technology that has the unique chance of feeding nine billion people without destroying the environment.