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The cocoa mirid (Hemiptera: Miridae) problem: evidence to support new recommendations on the timing of insecticide application on cocoa in Ghana

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2014

Richard Adu-Acheampong*
Affiliation:
Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, PO Box 8, Tafo-Akim, Ghana
Janice Jiggins
Affiliation:
Chair Group Knowledge, Technology and Innovation, Wageningen University, PO Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, The Netherlands
Arnold van Huis
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8031, 6700 EH Wageningen, The Netherlands
Anthony Richmond Cudjoe
Affiliation:
Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, PO Box 8, Tafo-Akim, Ghana
Victress Johnson
Affiliation:
Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, PO Box 8, Tafo-Akim, Ghana
Owuraku Sakyi-Dawson
Affiliation:
Department of Agricultural Extension, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, PO Box 68, Legon, Ghana
Kwasi Ofori-Frimpong
Affiliation:
Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, PO Box 8, Tafo-Akim, Ghana
Paul Osei-Fosu
Affiliation:
Ghana Standards Authority, PO Box MB 245, Accra, Ghana
Ebenezer Tei-Quartey
Affiliation:
Ghana Cocoa Board, Department of Research, PO Box 933, Accra, Ghana
William Jonfia-Essien
Affiliation:
Quality Control Company Limited, PO Box M54, Accra, Ghana
Michael Owusu-Manu
Affiliation:
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, PO Box M40, Accra, Ghana
Maxwell Samuel Nana Karikari Addo
Affiliation:
Quality Control Company Limited, PO Box 57, Dunkwa, Central Region, Ghana
Charles Afari-Mintah
Affiliation:
Kuapa Kokoo Limited, PO Box AN 23044, Kumasi, Ghana
Maxwell Amuzu
Affiliation:
Cocoa Input Company Limited, PO Box C729, Cantoments, Accra, Ghana
Nana Nyarko Eku-X
Affiliation:
Agona Nyakrom Traditional Area, PO Box 6, Agona Nyakrom, Central Region, Ghana
Edward T.N. Quarshie
Affiliation:
Cargill Ghana Limited, Tema Free Zone Enclave, PMB 251, Community 1, Tema, Ghana

Abstract

The government's cocoa spraying gangs in Ghana treat about two million hectares of the crop against black pod disease and mirids, the key insect pests of cocoa in West Africa, each August through to December, based on recommendations issued in the 1950s. A few cocoa farmers use additional pesticides. We studied the temporal distribution of two important mirid species, Distantiella theobroma (Dist.) and Sahlbergella singularis Hagl., in 1991, 1999, 2003 and 2012 to determine the appropriate timing for the application of control measures in current farming systems. There was a significant correlation between mirid abundance and pod availability on trees, as well as the number of basal shoots and the cocoa variety grown. Mirid populations peaked between January and April and from September to October. Surveys (interviews and focus group discussions involving over 300 farmers in 33 cocoa-growing districts) on pesticide use, sources of recommendations, and perceived successes and failures of current cocoa pest treatments suggested that the 1950 recommendations on the timing of insecticide application need revising.

Type
Multi-Institutional Study
Copyright
Copyright © ICIPE 2014 

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