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Integrated white stem borer management in smallholder coffee farms in India, Malawi and Zimbabwe

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Health & Diseases
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk reduction/mitigation
International Coffee Council
Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), International Coffee Organization (ICO)

One of the most serious threats to coffee production in Southern Africa is the white coffee stem borer, Monochamus leuconotus (Pascoe) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). M. leuconotus is endemic to Africa and mainly attacks Arabica coffee grown at altitudes of below 1,700m where it may make the cultivation of coffee uneconomical. The larvae feed on the bark forming rings and finally bore into the coffee stem, weakening the plant and causing yellowing of the foliage. Infested trees that are less than two years old are inevitably killed, and a high percentage of older trees also succumb. Routine crop losses of more than 5% have been attributed to stem borers throughout Africa, although Schoeman (1994) reported cumulative yield losses of up to 25% in South Africa, and on smallholder farms in northern Malawi, incidences of up to 80% have been recorded (Oduor and Simons, 1999).

Coffee stem borer (CSB) was previously managed by application of Aldrin and Dieldrin. However these chemicals have been banned due to their persistence in the environment and subsequent threat to non-target organisms. CSB appears to have re-emerged as a serious pest in both Malawi and Zimbabwe following the withdrawal of these insecticides. There was therefore a need to develop alternative methods for managing this pest. As a result a project entitled ‘Integrated white stem borer management in smallholder coffee farms in India, Malawi and Zimbabwe’ (CFC/ICO/18) was  developed.  The project was funded by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), and supervised by the International Coffee Organization (ICO), with CABI as the Project Executing Agency (PEA).