Published Date: 2009-06-18 12:00:09
Subject: PRO/PL> Black pod, cocoa - Ghana: (AH)
Archive Number: 20090618.2244
BLACK POD, COCOA - GHANA: (ASHANTI)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 14 Jun 2009
Source: Modern Ghana, Ghana News Agency (GNA) report [edited]
Black pod disease attacks cocoa farms in Tafo
Mr Baron Amoafo, Tafo [Ashanti Region] District Manager of the
Produce Buying Company, has called on the government to step up the
mass spraying of cocoa farms in the area, to help eradicate the
outbreak of the black pod disease.
He said a number of the affected farmers were agitating for proactive
measures to check the spread of the disease. Mr Amoafo made the call
at a meeting with marketing clerks of the company at Tafo. He
commended the farmers for adopting good post-harvest practices like
the fermenting and drying of cocoa beans, which had led to the
drastic reduction of the disease.
[Black pod (also called _Phytophthora_ pod rot) is the primary fungal
disease affecting cocoa worldwide. Pathogens associated with the
disease in Africa are _Phytophthora palmivora_ and _P. megakarya_.
Two additional species are found in the Americas. _P. palmivora_ is
the most common pathogen and can cause yield losses as high as 95
percent in very humid climates, with every pod affected. It is
estimated to kill up to 10 percent of trees annually through stem
cankers. Pods progressively turn a dark brown. Losses are most severe
when pods are infected during the two months prior to ripening.
Black pod is spread by insects, mechanical means, plant debris,
water, and wind. Multiple infections from several sources may occur
in plantations with epiphytotics developing from a series of foci
simultaneously. Genetic resistance is generally low in commercial
cocoa cultivars. Disease management is difficult and needs an
integrated approach, including cultural techniques, phytosanitary
measures, and targeted fungicide use.
Black pod is at present also causing problems in neighbouring Ivory
Coast (ProMED-mail post 20090521.1896). In Ghana, major outbreaks
were reported in 2007 mainly in western areas, but concern was
expressed in several regions about inconsistency of government mass
spraying programmes (ProMED-mail post 20070914.3043).
Pictures of black pod symptoms:
Background information on black pod disease:
Information on black pod and other cocoa diseases and control:
Molecular diagnostic methods for black pod:
Economic impact of black pod and other cocoa diseases:
_P. palmivora_ taxonomy:
Taxonomy of all other fungal species via:
<http://www.indexfungorum.org/Names/Names.asp>. - Mod.DHA]