Published Date: 2004-06-13 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/PL> Black pod disease, cacao - Ghana
Archive Number: 20040613.1587
BLACK POD DISEASE, CACAO - GHANA
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 11 Jun 2004
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: Ghana web, Beposo (B/A), 11 June 2004, GNA [edited]
Black pod disease attacks cocoa in Asunafo Beposo
Nana Kofi Sarfo, a prominent cocoa farmer in the Asunafo district of
Brong-Ahafo, says that the annual yield cocoa crop might decrease due to
infection by black pod disease in the area. Speaking at a farmers' forum at
Beposo, Nana Sarfo said the disease resurfaced largely due to a delay in
spraying the crop for disease control, which had been scheduled for the
beginning of June.
Nana Sarfo has appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to ensure
that extension officers were deployed to the area to undertake the spraying.
He commended the government's cocoa spraying program and the cocoa Hi-Tech
Programme to ensure increased yield and for regularly increasing the
Nana Sarfo said that reports from cocoa farmers indicate that yields in
some areas have increased "tremendously" and urged cocoa farmers to work
harder to sustain the cocoa industry.
[Black pod disease (a.k.a. _Phytophthora_ pod rot) has been reported in all
cacao-producing regions. Annual crop losses worldwide are about 45 percent.
Several _Phytophthora_ spp. can cause black pod, chiefly _P. megakarya_,
which is present in West Africa, the main producing region, and total
losses occur in some areas. Much of the cacao crop in Ghana is currently
infected, and the fungus has been reported in Cameroon and Nigeria and is
suspected in Cote d'Ivoire. Disease management involves cultural control
(reduction of humidity and sources of inoculum), application of topical
copper-containing fungicides and systemic compounds, and experimental use
of antagonists. Breeding for resistance is a priority in West Africa.
Development of a genetic finger-printing technique for identifying black
pod (_Phytophthora_ spp.) will facilitate distinguishing species.