K600-plus per hectare needed to control borer


THE complete eradication and the management of coffee berry borer-infested gardens will cost more than K600 per hectare, an official says.
Dr Nelson Simbiken, the principal entomologist at the Coffee Industry Corporation, revealed this in the corporation’s second quarterly newsletter.
He was commenting on the coffee gardens infested with the borer at Asaro valley in Daulo district of Eastern Highlands.
He said it would cost about US$199 (about K627) per hectare to control the borer to manageable levels.
Dr Simbiken said the cost of the production and processing of coffee would increase by 40 per cent given the additional task required to control the borer and to produce quality coffee.
“The eradication and management of 100 per cent infestation of coffee gardens would cost more than K600 per hectare, 50 per cent infestation to cost K450 per hectare and less than 3 per cent infestation to cost K350 per hectare,” Dr Simbiken said.
He said costs included field sanitation, trapping, surveillance, harvesting, gleaning (stripping) of fallen berries, weed control, insecticide and biological control.
Coffee Industry Corporation chief executive Charles Dambui recently visited the gardens to see the containment exercise carried out by its officers.
He said around 70 coffee plots had been infected in Asaro.
Farmer Inna Mehuwo whose garden was badly affected thanked the extension officers for containing the pest.
She said the income from coffee supported her family and it hurt to see the officers cherry-stripping his coffee trees.
“I know this will save my uninfected coffee gardens in the long run,” she said.
The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is a small beetle native to Africa.
It is among the most harmful pests to coffee crops across the world where coffee is cultivated.

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