Sikua warns gov’t on on deadly beetle - Solomon Star News

Sikua warns gov’t on on deadly beetle

27 November 2017
Beetle larvae discovered recently at GPPOL.

THE presence of the devastating rhinoceros beetle in North East Guadalcanal is a major threat to oil palm investment in the area.

That’s according to Parliamentary Independent leader Dr Derek Sikua in parliament last Friday.

Dr Sikua said if nothing is done to curb the seriousness of this widely spread pest in the Guadalcanal plains, the intention to expand palm oil to his constituency may not eventuate.

He said the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) has plans to extend investment to Tasiboko, but this had casted doubts, given the spread of rhinoceros beetle that prey on palm oil.

He urged the government to look seriously at the presence of the pest since it is a setback to major investment opportunities that should boost the economy of the country.

Dr Sikua said the rhinoceros beetle not only preys on coconut trees but palm oil as well.

“In this case GPPOL investment is under threat, more so, incurred additional costs to the company’s operation.”

He urged the government through the ministry responsible to be aggressive in the battle against the pest, in order to save the palm oil and coconut industries.

He reiterated that GPPOL’s plan to expand its palm oil plantation is now in question due to the severe impacts of rhinoceros beetles.