The Red Palm Weevil is an agricultural pest with traits and abilities that are hard to be eradicated as of now. The RPW can cause severe harm to palm trees within a short period.
It infects the inner palm trunk, where it is shielded from environmental conditions such as high temperatures, low external humidity, biological enemies, pesticides and from being seen by human beings.
A palm tree suffering from a RPW infection shows no obvious symptoms, making it hard to be discovered at the beginning of the infection. RPW has spread to many areas in Europe, Asia and some regions of the United States of America within 30 years.
The ability to hide, the high destructive ability and the fast spread makes RPW a very dangerous pest that affects palm trees around the world. The rate of infection reached 1-5% in various regions of the Kingdom. The importance of this issue is the wide spread of infection and the difficulty in combating it. Several efforts were made internally and externally to find the best way to control or to eliminate the RPW but this requires more time, concentration and support.
KACST in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture provided the necessary attention to this pest. It supported various projects and held several symposia and workshops at universities and research centers in the Kingdom.
These workshops included one on RPW: modern technologies and future dimensions on 14-15 Rabie the 1st 1428H, corresponding to 2-3 April 2007 in the presence of H.E. the Minister of Agriculture.
KACST has also supported several symposia on palm trees at King Faisal University in Alahsa, and supported several local research projects carried out by local researchers.