TUTA ABSOLUTA TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR KEPHIS INSPECTORS, PLANT PROTECTION EXPERTS AND TOMATO AND POTATO GROWERS 25TH & 26TH NOVEMBER 2015

Tuta absoluta is an insect pest of tomato and other solanaceae crops. The leaf miner can cause uptp 100% of yield reduction to tomato production. International trading stimulated the spread of T. absoluta from South America to Asia, Europe and Africa. There was the urgent need of knowledge on how to deal with the highly harmful insect due to its imerging nature. A training workshop was organized between 25th and 26th November 2015 to provide a general view on the biology, ecology, risk and control of T. absoluta so that the plant protection agencies in Kenya can learn how to control the pest in a sustainable way. The target group was KEPHIS inspectors, local experts in plant protection and tomato and potato growers. Dr. Yu Tong Qiu, a senior research entomologist from Wageningen UR trained on various topics which include taxonomy, biology, economic impact, phytosanitary status, quarantine measures and integrated pest management of Tuta absoluta. A visit to a field in a nearby location with T. absoluta damage and management options was part of the training sessionfor the trainees to appreciate what was learnt theoretically.