Coffee Bean Borer confirmed in Madang

Farming

As continued efforts for the coffee borer pest find its way into the 14th month, a new detection has been confirmed in Bundi, Madang.
Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Chief Executive Officer Charles Dambui said that the area was geographically isolated and support from the district administration was needed to conduct a full survey of the area.
“Technical officers have been sent into the area and have returned with reports of CBB presence in the area.”
Dambui said ongoing dialogue with the Madang provincial and district government should pave away forward for collaborative efforts to eradicate the sparsely infected areas.
From January to February 2018,in Jiwaka, a total number of the coffee trees that have been pruned are 96,110 in the CBB infected gardens.A recent technical report said that as of February 2018, a total of 4,689ha of coffee garden are infested with CBB in Banz, Jiwaka. Most of these gardens are present in Banz areas with only few infested gardens in Minj areas.
In Eastern Highlands (EHP), a total of 58,687 coffee trees in the CBB infected gardens have been pruned. There are more coffee gardens infested with CBB in EHP than Jiwaka.
Principal Socio-Economist, Dr.Reuben Sengere, reported that the total coffee garden areas infested with CBB is at 17,486 ha and is gradually increasing.
“Many infested gardens are located around Asaro areas with only few gardens recorded in Unggai Bena are as particularly in Kamaliki and Yabiufa in Unggai area.”
He said with the inclusion of new infested garden recently discovered at Siokei plantation in the Bena area,there is a possibility of CBB spreading into nearby uninfected gardens.
Meanwhile, a team of scientists from the organisation have already isolated local strains of Beauveria bassiana, and have applied to infested coffee trees on experimental basis.
Dambui said Beauvaria bassiana can be used as a biological control agent in integrated pest management(IPM) programmes.
“Beauvaria is a fungus that attacks and kills both the adult and larvae and can be easily isolated, cultured on a suitable culture media, and mass produced using a suitable substrate such as rice.”
He explained that the fungal mycelium and spores produced on rice substrate can be harvested and packaged appropriately for distribution to coffee growers who can mix it with water for spraying.
The preliminary findings have shown that the fungus is successful in controlling CBB.
He said after further evaluations on the fungus, it would be mass produced and applied in infested coffee gardens.
While containment work is in progress,trucks with coffee that pass through roads blocks at Korofeigu inEHP and Ganige in Simbu Province are being monitored by CIC officers.
A total of 25 containers were fumigated in November and December2017, and continued monitoring and surveillance activities are part of the ongoing efforts to restrict infected coffees to move into clean areas.

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