|Dr. Hammond (in the dark blue hat) inspects sweet potatoes in La Vega.|
There are more than 5,000 small farmers that grow sweet potatoes in the Dominican Republic, largely in the area of San Juan. These producers have been negatively affected by the sweet potato weevil (cylas formicarius) known in the Dominican Republic as Piogan. Dr. Abner Hammond, a sweet potato specialist from Louisiana State University, traveled to the Dominican Republic in January and February 2013 to provide training to extensionists and farmers about the management and control of the sweet potato weevil. In addition to his teaching at Louisiana State, Dr. Hammond has also worked as an Extension Specialist in Sweet Potato IPM for 15 years and his recent research is concentrated on developing strategies to integrate new technology into insect pest management systems for sweet potato and sugar cane. Through Farmer to Farmer collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana (JAD), we hope to have an impact on sweet potato weevil control in the DR.