NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 15, 2022) — An official of the Department of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is advising farmers on Nevis of a new type of pest which has been affecting certain crops on the island since late October.
Mr. Quincy Bart, Plant Health and Plant Quarantine Officer at the department said on November 15, 2022, that they are investigating the source of the pest however, farmers should seek their assistance should their crops be infected.
“We here at the Department of Agriculture identified a new type of pest that is prevalent in the Malvaceae family. When we are talking about the Malvaceae family we are talking about okra, sorrel, cotton and also some of the Folanaceae family such as eggplants, sweet pepper. This pest we found to be a leafhopper. The leafhopper is a small pest and it’s a sucking insect.
“This sucking insect serves as a vector for a virus that affects those plants… The pest looks like its pale green and it has flying capabilities and its very, very prolific. Signs and symptoms of the pest is that it sucks the plant and transmits a disease and [with] this disease you can see crinkling of the leaves, yellow lesion of the leaves, and necrotic lesions and it affects the yield significantly. So once you see it in your okras, your sorrel, eggplant give us a call and we will be able to give you some guidance on how to control this pest,” he said.
Mr. Bart added that at this time of year, the pests have the potential to reduce this year’s sorrel yield.