New measures dealing with CBB

The coffee berry borer (CBB) infested gardens in the Eastern Highlands Province now stand at 267 and increasing from initial 12 gardens identified since March 2017.

The total area of coffee infested with the pest in EHP is estimated to be around 380 hectares with only 71.9 hectares rehabilitated to date.

The new approach is the stumping of coffee trees led by the Coffee Industry Corporation Limited.

Containment and eradication teams were engaged in infested gardens to carry out pruning, cherry stripping, and chemical spray and weed control.

The pruned stems and branches were burnt while stripped cherries were buried. In Jiwaka especially in the Minj area, the CIC interventions have resulted in containing the pest.

However, in Banz and in the Asaro Valley, the pest is slowing spreading into nearby gardens. In the current eradication and containment exercise, work is carried out in gardens infected with CBB.

The new approach is the stumping of coffee trees. This means that all uprights where stems are removed and only one stem is left which will be capped and only several branches are left to act as lung of the coffee.

The main reason for carrying out this exercise is to break the life cycle of the CBB which breeds and survives only on the bean.

The new suckers that are raised from stumped trees will take 2 years to produce, in that period, it is expected the pest will die.

Another strategy is to begin stump coffee from buffer zones (1 km) where the pest is not found and move inwards. This strategy will push the pest inward to the epicentre.

The CBB adult can only fly about 500 metres.

Sophie Yaruso