Press Release

Top Entomologists to Conduct Second Scientific Mission in Georgia: Mission reinforces earlier efforts to protect Georgian hazelnut crop

WASHINGTON, D.C., AND ADAIR, OK — Leading entomologists from three U.S. universities, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Trécé Inc. will convene a one-week mission to the country of Georgia beginning Aug. 24, 2019, during which they will share knowledge with Georgian scientists and researchers in the Black Sea region regarding monitoring and control of the brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB), which threatens hazelnuts and other crops in western regions of the country.

The effort will build on a March 2018 mission initiated by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Restoring Efficiency Agriculture Program (REAP) implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development non-profit organization; and Trécé Inc., a leading American manufacturer of pheromone-based insect monitoring and control systems. That mission brought U.S. scientists to the country to examine challenges and constraints faced by farmers in fighting the pest during the 2017 growing season. USAID’s REAP Project had selected Trécé Inc. in 2017 to provide two shipments of its PHEROCON® insect kits (lures and traps) to protect Georgia’s hazelnut sector and other key agricultural products.

“This new mission will provide us with a unique opportunity to gather additional information that will aid in assessing and measuring the effects of the interventions and changes generated by our previous mission,” said Penn State’s Dr. Greg Krawczyk. “The mission also will serve as an important means of bringing together all the principals in the fight against BMSB—scientists, government officials, producers and others—to share critical information and knowledge to advance our mutual objective to control this destructive pest.”

USAID’s participation in the mission continues work that begun under REAP, a five-year enterprise development program which provided investment and technical assistance to Georgian agribusinesses from 2013 to 2018. In addition to boosting private investment and commercial finance in the agriculture sector by $37.5 million, the project worked to mitigate risks for rural agribusinesses, upgrade farmers’ agricultural and technical skills, and expand linkages among service providers, producers, and processors.

During the upcoming second mission, scientists will further evaluate the BMSB infestation in Georgia, and provide assistance to the Georgian Government and people, as well as others in the Black Sea Region, through transfer of knowledge and advanced solutions designed to manage BMSB at an economically acceptable level. Members of the mission will engage with representatives of the Georgian government, Georgian academia and invited guests from the Black Sea region, and convene a conference on August 29th.

“CNFA’s efforts to improve livelihoods by improving agricultural knowledge and skills rely on the committed engagement of partners like Trécé Inc.,” said CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy. “It is gratifying to see our ongoing public-private cooperation continue to benefit Georgian farmers and agribusinesses.”

The mission also will include an August 29 conference featuring presentations by the following panelists:

  • Greg Krawczyk, Extension Tree Fruit Entomologist in the Department of Entomology at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Kim Hoelmer, Research Leader of the USDA ARS Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit in Newark, Del.
  • Chris Bergh, Professor of High-Value Horticulture Crops Entomology at Virginia Tech’s Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Va.
  • Lara Bosco, Entomologist in the Department of Food, Forestry and Agricultural Science at the University of Torino
  • James F. Walgenbach, a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University
  • Brent Short, Eastern Field Research and Product Development Technical Rep for Trécé, Inc.
  • Gertraud Norton, Assistant Director – Pathway Surveillance and Operational Science

Department of Agriculture

“Trécé Inc. is committed to working on the ground in cooperation with top experts from both countries to share knowledge and propagate the use of the latest pest monitoring and control solutions,” Bill Lingren said. “As we have learned from earlier work with our Georgian partners, these joint efforts generate mutual benefits – helping Georgian farmers and protecting their crops, and advancing Trécé Inc.’s own research and development endeavors, which produce gains that benefit our business, employees and our communities.”

##

About USAID: USAID began operating in Georgia in 1992. For 26 years, the American people have provided over $1.8 billion in assistance to Georgia through USAID. Building on this successful partnership, the U.S. Government dedicates approximately $40 million annually to 50 wide-reaching programs that support Georgia’s democratic, free-market, Western orientation.

 

About The USAID Agriculture Program: The USAID Agriculture Program is a five-year activity that aims to accelerate growth of agricultural sub-sectors that demonstrate strong potential to create jobs and increase incomes and revenues of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). The USAID Agriculture Program delivers firm-level investment and tailor-made technical assistance to entrepreneurial, market-driven enterprises, production clusters and supporting associations and service/information/extension providers to foster inclusive and sustainable market systems development. The USAID Agriculture Program provides competitive cost-shared grants and technical assistance to address identified gaps in targeted value chains that will result in the improved productivity and production capacity of MSMEs, strengthened value chain linkages, increased access to markets, and improved capacity of MSMEs, cooperatives, associations and service/information/extension providers.

The program focuses on the following value chains: berries, culinary herbs, stone fruits, pome fruits (apples), perishable vegetables, mandarins and table grapes.

 

About Trécé Incorporated: Established in 1984, Trécé Inc. is a leading American innovator focuses on customer needs, growing through development, manufacturing and marketing of insect pheromone and kairomone-based products, which benefit food production and the environment, while creating net economic welfare for its customers, company employees, local and global communities. The Trécé Inc. product catalog currently contains over 150 species-specific pheromone and/or kairomone-based monitoring and control systems, attractants and lures, a full line of trap models designed for a wide variety of flying and crawling insect pests that attack growing agriculture and post-harvest stored ag crops.  These products are marketed under two internationally respected brand names, PHEROCON® and STORGARD®.  Trécé Inc. created, registered and markets a line of insect control products under the brand name, CIDETRAK®, for orchard, vine and row crops and protection of post-harvest stored ag products in the commodity, food processing and retail segments of the industry.