The pests have practically destroyed the entire hazelnut harvest, with large sums of money now being needed to deal with the infestation
Abkhazia will need 12 million dollars, around 700 million roubles, to deal with an infestation of an insect that is well-known in the different regions of the Caucasus: the brown marmorated stink bug.
The Head of the State Inspectorate for Plant Quarantine of Abkhazia, Arkadiy Jinjia, spoke about the development as one might speak of a tragedy. Enormous damage has been done by the pest to practically all the farms in the country, with the eastern regions of Abkhazia especially having suffered. Gali district, where more than 10 thousand tonnes of hazelnuts are harvested annually, produced a harvest that was 20 times less than that of last year.
The brown marmorated stink bug destroys practically all fruits and vegetables.
“Funds are needed to buy pesticides, sprayers and equipment in order to treat 80 thousand hectares of agricultural lands,” said Jinjia.
The UN Development Program has been aiding Abkhazia in the fight against the pest. The republic has already received 12 million roubles (about five million dollars) to buy pesticides. Of this sum, about 5 million roubles have been allocated to the Gali district so as to treat its agricultural lands by air. Soon another shipment of humanitarian aid from international organizations in the form of pesticides is expected. However, the aid has not had any affect as yet.
President Raul Khajimba has had several meetings concerning the problem. The Minister of Agriculture Daur Tarba has also appealed to his Russian counterpart for emergency aid.