Bio-control agent to combat CBB infestation

The Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) has announced the field release of a bio-control agent after laboratory and field tests.

This follows continued effort and resources put into addressing the coffee berry borer incursion in the country.

Chief Executive Officer, Charles Dambui, said it had taken a while for CIC to come up with the bio-control agent as its scientists have been working around the clock to identify local biological control agents of coffee berry borer.

A local strain of Beauveria (bou-veria) fungus was identified in September 2017, which had infected the coffee berry borer in the Asaro valley.

Beauveria bassiana is a broad spectrum fungi which is most often found growing in soils. This white muscardine fungus is a natural enemy to arthropods.

Dambui said the first application of Beauvaria bassiana in Jiwaka in 2017 demonstrated a positive result.

From the preliminary results, it can be concluded that the local identified strain of Beauveria bassiana has the potential to significantly reduce CBB infestation level, disturb CBB life cycles and reduce CBB population.

Dambui further said lab trials indicated that the local strain of Beauveria bassiana can also infect and cause mortality on sweet potato weevil, Oribius weevil and other pests of food crops.

Press release