Dr. Julie Flood
Pests and diseases are key constraints to both coffee and cocoa production. I cannot, in the time available, give you a full account of all the diseases and pests that attack these crops, so I shall just briefly consider a few of these.
For cocoa, black pod (Phytophthora spp) causes an estimated 44 percent loss of the world’s cocoa production. CSSV causes 11 percent of all global cocoa crop loss. Mirids or capsids affect 25 to 30 percent of the national acreage in Ghana alone, giving annual losses estimated at 100,000 tons. Africa is the center of diversity of coffee, thus there are many pests and diseases that affect production. Coffee berry disease (Colletotrichum kahawe), coffee rust, bark disease and Fusarium wilt are examples of some serious coffee diseases. Root mealy bugs, white and yellow stem borers, Antestia, coffee berry borer are a few examples that cause serious losses to coffee production annually. Fusarium wilt I mention here as an interesting disease. It has reappeared recently after being considered for decades as a minor disease. This disease has now devastated thousands of hectares in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is spreading in Uganda, where it is now a serious threat to production.