"Clean Arava" Project (CAP)
The "Clean Arava" Project (CAP) is the ensign area wide management project of the Arava region. It comprises diverse activities to minimize or even absolutely prevent the presence of quarantine pests, thus enabling the export of fresh agricultural produce from the region to worldwide markets, including to those that have the most rigorous quality standards (USA, Japan, etc.).
The project is anchored in legislation founded as early as in 1994 with the following pivotal aims:
- Sanitation and refined agricultural practices that include an all-inclusive, strictly authorized pause period between the growing seasons to reduce or eradicate inoculums' sources, to break the life-cycle of various pests thus preventing the transfer of vertebrate pests and plant pathogens among farms and between successive seasons.
- A particular care of quarantine pests such as the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), the date weevil etc'. The practice includes a pest monitoring system and a year-round pest inspection and management.
- A reduced use of chemicals provides the production of a pesticide-free produce in favor of the customers. It is based on research and other activities aimed to generate alternatives for chemical pesticides, beyond the use of natural pest predators.
The Arava Med Fly Eradication Project (AMEP)
Fundamental to guarantee the sustainability of the Clean Arava Project is the project of the Arava Med Fly Eradication (AMEP). That insect used to be abundant in the region especially at the backyard gardens, where from it spread to the fruit and vegetable industry. The presence of the Mediterranean fruit fly has put the export certification to countries where it had been defined as a quarantine insect (e.g., USA and Japan) at a significant uncertainty. The project was inaugurated on 1998 in collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with the farmers of the Arava region.
The main objective of the project is the extermination of the Mediterranean fruit fly from the Arava region. The distribution of sterile male flies (SIT - Sterile Insect Technique) in the region is of a principal use in the project. This advanced environment-friendly method of biological pest control, meticulous sanitation practices, and complementary chemical sprays (only when necessary) are all implemented in both sides of the Jordan-Israel border along the Arava Valley.
- The significant reduction of the local population of the Mediterranean fruit fly to an extremely low level, which enabled the export of sweet pepper and tomatoes to the USA.
- The development of collaboration with the Jordan Kingdom and the present considerations to expand it to additional issues of common interests.
- The implementation of the method in additional projects of pest control.
- The consideration of expanding the regional model into a national endeavor.