The two-day international conference “Modern Methods of Olive Fruit Fly Control”, organized by the Scientific Society of Olive Encyclopaedists (Non-Profit Civil Society) (4E), was held at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. The conference was well attended on both days, both by physical presence and live-streaming.
Innovations and basic features of the conference were:
- The fact that finally, after many decades, a conference took place that was focused solely on the control of the olive fruit fly, one of the burning issues in Greek olive cultivation.
- Expert scientists from Greek research centers and universities participated, as well as field agriculturists and, in particular, specialists from Regional Units of the Directorate of Agricultural Economy and Veterinary Medicine, who spoke on all topics related to the importance of the correct control of the olive fruit fly to Greek olive production.
- The conference also had strong international participation, with five invited expert entomologists from Italy, Spain and Portugal.
- The speakers covered modern methods of monitoring and controlling the olive fruit fly, the correct use of insecticides and the problem of resistance, biological control and cultural management practices. Finally, the relationship of the olive fruit fly to diseases of olive, such as olive anthracnose, and effect of climate change on control were addressed. The conference closed with a Round Table session.
- Innovation awards were given to three research groups which have contributed to the development and application of new technologies in combatting the olive fruit fly in Greece and worldwide, specifically to:
- Argyro Kalaitzaki of the Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DEMETER” for the application of geo-informatic technologies in the optimization of the Greek national program of olive fruit fly control.
- Markos Avlonitis of the Ionian University for the development of electronic McPhail traps.
- Konstantinos Pontikakos, Dionysios Perdikis and Theodoros Tsiligiridis of the Agricultural University of Athens for the development of Fruit Fly Net, an electronic system of integrated olive fruit fly management.
- The conference was open to dialogue throughout its duration, ending with a round table with agencies, researchers, agriculturalists and farmers making well-founded proposals for the improvement of the program of olive fruit fly control.
To sum up, there was a consensus that:
- there is a need to continue the national program of olive fruit fly control based on the use of baits, due to their many advantages;
- the current institutional framework, which was established is 1953, needs to be updated based on the latest scientific and technological data;
- a new agency needs to be established which should be responsible for implementing the program and reducing the amount of bureaucracy involved.
Moreover, the major factors creating obstacles in application of the national program were identified as the level and flow of funding, as well as the structural organisation. At the same time, major priorities for the efficient application of the national program were established, namely the utilisation and effective pilot application of new technologies and scientific data, updating of the legal framework, and the creation of a National Olive Council. Many individual proposals were made and will be collated by topic so that they can be included in the conclusions and formal proposals from the conference that will be sent to the competent state bodies.
The Organising Committee express its thanks to the Scientific Board, the speakers – in particular those from abroad, the financial and communications sponsors, the staff of the Agricultural University of Athens, all the participants who travelled from different parts of Greece to attend in person, and all those who contributed to making the conference such a success.
Stavros Vemmos, Emeritus Professor of Pomology, Agricultural University of Athens; President of 4E.
Dionyssios Perdikis, Associate Professor in Integrated Management of Insect Crop Pests, Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology and Entomology, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, specialised in integrated and biological control of crop pests.
Vassilios Zampounis, agroeconomist, publisher of Olive & Olive Oil and olivenews.gr
Secretary: Maria Marantinou, Laboratory Teaching Staff, Pomology Laboratory, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens.
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