Published Date: 2010-06-07 22:00:03
Subject: PRO/PL> Black pod, cocoa - Nigeria: (CR)
Archive Number: 20100607.1901
BLACK POD, COCOA - NIGERIA: (CROSS RIVER)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 3 Jun 2010
Source: Dow Jones Newswires [edited]
Black pod disease is now on cocoa farms in Nigeria's southeastern
Cross River state following heavy rainfall there, an industry official
said. Black pod destroys 40-60 percent of Nigeria's cocoa production
each year, according to the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria.
Sayina Riman, Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), said although the
disease can have a potentially detrimental effect on production, it
was too early to know its impact on the crop. "Black pod has affected
some areas, though it isn't widespread yet," he said.
The rainy season  began in the southeastern cocoa belt in May
and rainfall has been regular and heavy since then, with little
sunshine. The rainy season usually ends in the region in October.
Riman said the heavy downpours have also had some positive effects
because beans now being harvested are bigger and heavier.
Cross River state is the largest cocoa producer in the southeast
region of Nigeria, and the 2nd largest in the country, producing
around 50 000 - 60 000 metric tons of cocoa a year.
[Byline: Obafemi Oredein]
[Black pod (also called _Phytophthora_ pod rot) is the primary fungal
disease affecting cocoa worldwide. In Africa, the fungus-like
pathogens _Phytophthora palmivora_ and _P. megakarya_ are associated
with it, but 2 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 [plant 'epidemics'] 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.
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:
_P. megakarya_ taxonomy: