The date palm Phoenix dactylifera L (Arecaceae or Palmae) is mostly cultivated in the dry regions of the world. This crop plays an economic role for these countries, providing food security as well as helping to mitigate the adverse effects of desertification and climate change. It is estimated that there are approximately 150 million palm trees worldwide, of which 75% are in the Middle East and North Africa region. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global production of dates increased from just 1.8 million tons in 1962 to nearly 9.25 million tons in 2019. During the past two decades there has been a significant increase in the area planted with date palms in both semi Arabia, as well as in North Africa. The crop is expected to maintain an important position in the agricultural sector in these regions due to its excellent adaptation to harsh climatic conditions.
Since the mid-1980s, the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) has been reported in more than 50% of date-producing countries, causing economic damage to date palm trees. There are gaps and challenges in nearly all components of the current RPW and IPM strategy. During the month of March 2017, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations organized a “high-level scientific meeting on the management of red palm weevil” and through the “Rome Declaration” called for the urgent need for concerted efforts and commitment to international cooperation to combat the red palm weevil at the regional and global levels to stop the spread of this deadly pest.
The leaf borer Phonapate frontalis F. (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) and the long-horned palm stem borer Jebusaea hammerschmidtii R. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and two species of the subspecies beetle or rhinoceros: Dynastinae (Coleopidterae) beetles: Oryctes agamemecty beetles Important in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The assessment of the annual economic loss from eradicating severely infested palm trees between 1 and 5 percent of the red palm weevil infestation alone is estimated to be $5.18 to $25.92 million, respectively, in the Gulf countries and the Middle East.
Early detection of infested palm trees is the key to successful palm borer control.