In just half a year, Rosselkhoznadzor has already detected pests in tomatoes from Turkmenistan 25 times

On May 27, 2024, the Rosselkhoznadzor Office for the Orenburg Region reported the detection of the South American tomato moth in a large shipment of tomatoes received from Turkmenistan. The 18-ton shipment was intended for sale on the Russian market, but is now subject to strict quarantine measures and possible destruction. This is reported on the department’s website.

The South American tomato moth (Tuta absoluta) was discovered during standard phytosanitary inspection procedures. Rosselkhoznadzor specialists conducted a thorough inspection and analysis of product samples, as a result of which traces of a harmful insect were identified. This type of moth is a dangerous pest that can cause significant damage to agriculture, especially in greenhouses where tomatoes and other vegetable crops are grown.

In this regard, the entire batch of tomatoes was isolated and quarantined. The Office of Rosselkhoznadzor for the Orenburg Region began to conduct additional inspections and studies to determine the degree of infestation and prevent the spread of moths to other batches of products. Depending on the results of the inspection, a decision will be made on further actions, including the possible destruction of the entire batch.

We have previously reported that the discovery of the South American tomato moth could have a significant impact on trade relations between Russia and Turkmenistan in the field of agriculture. The authorities of Turkmenistan have also been notified of the incident and are expected to take measures to prevent recurrence. It is important to note that such cases undermine confidence in the quality and safety of imported products and can lead to stricter phytosanitary requirements and an increase in the number of inspections.

The public and agricultural experts have already expressed concern over the discovery of this incident. Experts emphasize that this pest can cause significant economic damage if timely measures are not taken to eliminate it. Experts and representatives of the agricultural sector are also calling for stronger controls over imported products. Particular attention should be paid to inspections from regions with a high risk of pest spread. It is necessary to improve information and training of suppliers and producers in the field of phytosanitary standards and requirements.

Let us add that since the beginning of 2024, caterpillars of the South American tomato moth have been identified in 25 cases in the amount of 253.5 tons in imported regulated products from Turkmenistan. In accordance with the requirements of quarantine legislation, the import of products was prohibited, the guilty person was brought to administrative responsibility in accordance with Article 10.2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation. Such situations, in particular the latest incident, require prompt and effective measures to eliminate the threat in order to prevent the possible spread of the pest and ensure the safety of domestic agriculture.