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Khapra Beetle threatens grain industry -not present in Belize

The Khapra beetle may not get the same buzz as the spelling bee in the south, but the Khapra Beetle is causing a regional stir that has caught the attention of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.  The beetle has the potential to threaten the grain industry. The Khapra is a serious pest of cereal grains and oilseeds.  Massive populations of the insect may develop and grain stocks can be almost completely destroyed. The pest is extremely resistant to the effects of contact insecticides or fumigants which make complete disinfestation extremely difficult.  Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras have notified the region that for 2019 alone, the pest has been detected in more than 30 containers of sorrel and coffee at ports of entry in these neighboring countries. The infested consignments have been refused entry into the country and returned to origin.  Belize has specific quarantine regulations against possible importation of products from countries that do have the pest; such as some Asian and African countries. BAHA has held meetings with grain stakeholders in the North and Central Belize regions where grains are produced and stored to discuss a strategy to prevent the entry of this pest.  All importers are advised that all agricultural products especially grains originating in countries that have that beetle infestation, requires a Pest Risk Analysis before any import permit can be issued.