Phytosanitary monitoring and surveillance system for integrated management of oil palm pests in Ghana : A review
This paper discusses a phytosanitary monitoring and surveillance system as a component of an integrated pest management strategy. The main stages of the system are alert, census and action. The education and training of farmers, plantation personnel, and extension workers to recognise the main pests, early damage symptoms, and points of development of the pest are crucial for the successful implementation of the monitoring system. A monthly census and a visual assessment of the foliage to determine the extent of defoliation are essential. Two types of checks, ordinary and special, were used depending on the population levels of the various pests. The surveillance data collected from the field were processed and appropriate recommendations issued, based on the indices of pest infestation levels. The adoption and use of the system of monitoring and surveillance can lead to great savings in the huge investment, human and material, needed to control the pest if an outbreak occurs. Regular monitoring of the pests in a plantation is essential to determine natural relationships of pests and their natural enemies, which play a key role in lowering equilibrium positions of the pests for their sustainable management.