I have always believed that Rotuma is blessed with a lot of things, including a very fertile volcanic soil that allows a variety of tropical fruits to grow in abundance. More so at this time of the year when there are plenty of sweet juicy melons, pineapples, mangoes, fao, faorau, oranges, vi, guavas, green leafy vegies, etc. that graces the island in their different colours, smells, and tastes.
As it is customary for us to share this time of the year, I believe it must be very difficult for our folks back home not to wonder about their loved ones in Fiji when they see the abundance of different fruits. I can easily empathise with them.
Rotuma has been dealt a cruel blow with the whitefly infestation. Apparently this pest has been around for "a few years," as per the comments of Principal Agriculture Officer, Kamlesh Prakash on the News Page of 4 October 2004.
From this it seems that aside from the enforced quarantine on Rotuma's fruits, very little has been done by the Agriculture Department to eradicate the pest, given that it has been a few years since Rotuma got infested.
The long term effect of this on Rotuma is mammoth to say the least. Furthermore, who is to say that the quarantine will work and that the pest will not spread to Fiji, given the frequent travel to and from Rotuma.
Thus the question to our readers and our scientists: how can these pests be controlled or eradicated?