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September 20, 2010
Insect destroys Chouf's mountain tomatoes

Insect destroys Chouf's mountain tomatoes

CHOUF: An unusual insect has destroyed over 80 percent of mountain tomato crops in the Chouf, and farmers are complaining the Agriculture Ministry is not doing enough to tackle it.
The bug, which appeared during the summer and is believed by local farmers to be a product of the unusually hot weather, has been threatening the harvest of mountain tomatoes – a type of Lebanese tomato which is bigger than other breeds and is grown toward the end of summer.
The insect was dubbed “the black butterfly” by local farmers, who said the damage it is causing is tremendous.
Barouk farmer Ramez Zahreddine told The Daily Star that over 80 percent of this year’s crop has been destroyed and the insect is continuing to cause damage. “It starts by eating away at the leaves and then infiltrates the fruit and lays its eggs deep inside the plant … It’s multiplying quickly because of the weather,” he said.
Farmers are struggling to control the insect because of its fast movement and reproduction, but also because of a lack of pesticides.
Only one type of insect repellent is currently available, but farmers claim it is not effective. They have asked the Agriculture Ministry to intervene and provide the necessary chemicals

“This is one of the most dangerous problems we’ve encountered in Lebanon … This is a test for the ministry,” said farmer Toufiq Abu Alwan.
arvesting mountain tomatoes is the main source of livelihood for many in the Chouf.
Hassan Halawi said he has invested LL27 million into cultivating mountain tomatoes this year but has only earned LL 5 million back

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Air Pollution Prevention And Solutions Tips:  September 8, 2010

Air Pollution Prevention And Solutions Tips:
Helping Control Air Pollution With Your Next Vehicle Purchase

Your next choice in vehicles could make a big difference in the amount of air pollution you contribute to the problem.
The best solution to worries about what kind of vehicle to buy might come from a handy publication put out by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The “Green Guide” is designed to help consumers buy the best vehicle when it comes to air pollution prevention.

If you are in the market for a new car or truck, check out the EPA’s site for models in your price range. Remember, when using this guide the only factor taken into account is the environmental impact when the vehicle is actually used.
No information on the recycle ability of the vehicle or other environmental impact is listed. That said, the Green Vehicle guide is quite valuable as an air pollution prevention tool.