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IPM for coffee in Colombia (CNTR 93 / 1536A)


Department For International Development (DFID), UK



Project Description

Latin American coffee farmer sorting cherries

Problem/Issue. The coffee berry borer is an important world-wide pest which is difficult to control by spraying because much of its life cycle occurs deep inside the berry. Manual control (hand picking of berries) is laborious and expensive. Biological control is an obvious alternative, but even this is not an easy option because there are comparatively few known natural enemies of the borer. Two of these, the African bethylid wasps Cephalonomia stephanoderis and Prorops nasuta, have been extensively studied and released in a number of Latin American countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil) and at least one of them has established in all these places; both are established in Colombia. However, available evidence suggests that their impact has been relatively small, probably because the female of each species stays in one berry with her offspring, in a similar fashion to the borer itself and the very action of harvesting must tend to destroy many of the wasps.

CABI Commodities input. Activities included farmer studies (socio-economics and anthropology), basic research, introduction of a new natural enemy, sampling, modelling and IPM- related research. Research was carried out by Colombian men and women, including 12 ‘tesistas’ carrying out research projects as part of the requirement for their agricultural engineer’s degree. Students were from the Universities of Caldas, Palmira and Medellín. Two Cenicafé professionals, M. Portilla and F. Posada, received Ph.D. awards through a ‘split’ programme, spending time in the UK (Imperial College) and carrying out the practical work in Colombia. One professional, H. Duque, completed his M.Sc. at Wye College (UK)

Project Successes. Extensive economic and anthropological studies of how farmers control of the CBB, the costs and their attitudes to it. A new parasitoid (Phymastichus coffea) successfully introduced and established in Colombia. Detailed ecological studies on development of the pest and its mortality factors. Sampling and coffee phenology studies, evaluation of parasitoid and fungus control methods.

What Next

The CFC seven country coffee berry borer project involving introduction of Phymastichus coffea to other countries and extensive farm IPM trials and studies.

Dr. P. Baker (Co-ordinator) p.baker@cabi.org

Start date: 1993

End date: 1998

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Contact CABI Commodities:
CABI Commodities Coffee Co-ordinator - Dr. Peter Baker - p.baker@cabi.org
CABI Commodities Cocoa Co-ordinator - Dr. Keith Holmes - k.holmes@cabi.org
CABI Commodities Project Administrator - cabi-commodities@cabi.org