A small red beetle that destroys palm trees is spreading rapidly, created "serious concern" for the global production of dates and coconuts, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday.
Over the past three decades, the so-called Red Palm Weevil has advanced throughout the Middle East and North Africa and into southern Europe, causing millions of dollars in economic losses.
A three-day meeting is underway at FAO headquarters in Rome to come up with an international action plan to stop the weevil in its tracks.
Shoki Al Dobai, is a regional crop protection officer with FAO.
Sandra Ferrari asked him to assess the economic damage caused so far.
Source: United Nations Radio