Pest Management of Cocoa Pod Borer

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The Cocoa Pod Borer, or is often named the CPB is one of the most common pests in cocoa cultivation. These pests attack fruit and cause a yield decline in both quantity and quality.

It is found at nearly all territory of cocoa cultivation in Indonesia. The scientific name of this pest is Conophomorpa cramerella.

 Cocoa Pod Borer attacks frequently have a major impact to cocoa cultivation business. It could decrease the productivity of up to 80%. Hence, the introduction of its life cycle, its symptoms of the attack and the pest control techniques need to be comprehended to get rid of great losses.

The Life Cycle of Cocoa Pod Borer Pest

The Cocoa Pod Borer is the insect with complete metamorphosis. Its  life cycle starts from the egg turning into a larvae. From larvae turns into imago (adult insects) which in turn will breed to begin a new life cycle. Time required to complete one cycle is less than 35 days.

Female Imago of cocoa pod borer’s life span is 5-7 days. During this period it could lay 100 – 200 eggs. The pests lay their eggs on the surface of cocoa fruit aged 3 – 4 months.

In less than 7 days, the eggs hatch and the  larvae then bore the skin and get into the  cocoa fruit. These larvae grow up in the fruit, devour the flesh of the fruit and the placenta which wrap cocoa beans.

Cocoa Pod Borer

After 14 days inhabiting the cocoa pod, the fully grown larvae will bore out of the fruit. Then down to the ground to find the dried leaves that will be used as a medium  to pupate. After 7 days pupating, the insect then  turns into imago. Imago flies, mates, and lay their the eggs on the pod.

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Attack symptoms

Cocoa borer pod moth attacks can be recognized from the fruit skin color. It changes into yellow – green striped or it appears like prematurely mature . When you open it, you will find it blackish brown inside.

On The afflicted fruit skin you might also find a black line where the moth once bored. The seeds of the affected fruit are usually small and stick one to another. This seed is difficult to extrude because they are firmly attached to the fruit skin. The seeds of the affected pod are generally posses a low fat content so that decrease their selling price.

Cocoa Pod Borer moth Control

The cocoa pod borer moth might be a significant threat toward cocoa cultivation survival if it is not seriously managed. Therefore a thorough understanding about various techniques of pest control is non-negotiable  required  by the farmers to minimize the losses incurred due to this insect.

Generally speaking, CPB pest control of can be done by technical culture, biological, and chemical techniques

Technical Culture

CPB pest control can be done by applying the cultivation techniques that suppresses the existence of this pest in the area for planting the most. Cultivation techniques in which  includes the selection of cocoa clones, selection of type of shade tree , pruning, pod-sleeving with plastic bag, fertilization, frequent harvesting and sanitation.

  • Clone selection is the initial stage in the integrated pest control technique. By planting superior resistance to CPB pests clones of cocoa such as ICCRI 7 and Sulawesi 3, it is expected that the growing plant will not get easily  affected by this pest.
  • The shade tree selection is one of the important things to note in the cultivation of cocoa. Wrong decision on selecting the species for shade tree  can result in increasing of the CPB attack The use of the shade tree which are  the host plants for pests such as rambutan , mata kucing, pulasan, kasai, cola, namnam, and langsat is best avoided because it can significantly increase  the  Cocoa Pod Borer pest population in cocoa planting area.
  • Pod- Sleeving is the treatment of giving the cocoa pod sheath pest penggerek imago in order that the imago of cocoa pod borer moth can not lay its eggs on the surface of the fruit. The sleeve is clear plastic sheath tied on the fruit since it is still small in  size(measuring a length of 8 – 12 cm). The plastic used for pod-sleeving is  30 x 15 cm at least. To prevent over moist inside the sheath, you have to hollow out the downward edge of the sheath.
  • Regular pruning is important to be done to keep the field humidity. The over humid field will allow the cocoa pod borer to reproduce more massively .Pruning is done by removing the branches or twigs of cocoa that overlap  one to another. reduces the circumference of the shade tree so that  the sunlight can reach the field.
  • Balanced fertilizing is done to helps plants grow and enhance the immune system of the  the precise fertilization dosage, time, type, and procedure will eventually bust  the plant  to be more robust against this pest attacks.
  • Frequent Harvest and sanitation are done to cut off the life cycle of Cocoa Pod Borer moth. The eggs and larvae of insects found in the fruit will also be destroyed when we conduct harvest as frequent as possible. Field sanitation will cut off the life cycle of the pest at the pupa stage.
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Biological Control

Cocoa Pod Borer moth control can biologically done by releasing their natural enemies from either the predator or parasitoid. Predators of this pest are black Ant (Dolichoderus long), weaver Ant  (Oesophylla smaragdina), and spiders (Arachnida). While the parasitoid, among others are Gorypus spp., Paraphylax spp., Ceraphron spp., Phaenocarpa spp., Beauveria bassiana, fungus and Trichogrammatoideabactreafumata.

Chemical control

 The chemical control of Cocoa Pod Borer pests  is done  when  the intensity of the attack in the field is high. Chemical control should be done after the technical culture  control techniques and the biological control have already done. The chemical control of  Cocoa Pod Borer pests can be done with contact or systemic insecticide applications of active ingredients such as Propoxar 0.1% and Deltametrin 0.0015%. —


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