Coffee berry borer spreads

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MORE coffee gardens are being identified to be infested with the coffee berry borer, as the Coffee Industry Corporation steps up rehabilitation efforts to contain the pest.
CIC chief executive officer Charles Dambui said a technical team had reported that the number of borer-infested gardens had increased to 67 from the 16 found in the Asaro Valley of Eastern Highlands in March.
A team of officers have been pruning coffee trees, spraying insecticide and carrying out cherry stripping on coffee trees in the past two months.
They burnt 250kg of infected cherry beans, saving what could have been a loss of about K11,000 with the current parchment coffee price at K4.50.
Dambui said rehabilitation teams were doing their best to contain the spread of the borer. But infested gardens in Jiwaka had increased from eight to 14.
“We are now into the containment exercise. If no Government funding is released immediately, there is likely to be a major outbreak in Eastern Highlands and will spread to nearby provinces, including Morobe and Chimbu.”
Principal entomologist Dr Nelson Simbiken said surveys carried out in East Sepik, Madang and Morobe showed no presence of the pest yet.
He said 5000 traps for the pest had been obtained from Indonesia and distributed to Jiwaka, Eastern Highlands and Western Highlands.

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