THE Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) ishere to stay and the challenge is how best we manage the pest and learn to live with it, says an international CBB expert.
Dr Juan F. Barrera (PhD) is engaged to provide advice, on CBB, to Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (Naqia).
While sharing his preliminary findings on CBB with CIC and Naqia staff last week in Goroka, he said, the management approach should be holistic, focusing on smallholder growers.
“You cannot fight or manage CBB alone. Resources must be spread out not only on CBB infected cherries but other factors such as quality and production improvement to counteract CBB attacks,” he said.
The CBB expert is engaged on a 30-day consultancy service advising CIC and Naqia on how best to control and manage CBB infestation in the affected areas.
He visited some infested gardens in Eastern Highlands and Jiwaka with the local CBB team headed by Dr Mark Kenny, general manager (research and extension). The CBB expert also had consultantations with focus groups, coffee exporters and farmers.
Barrera also praised CIC and Naqia’s efforts in restricting the pest to the affected areas.
“The infestation level at affected sites had dropped significantly and I encourage the CIC and Naqia to implement control measures undertaken on the ground,” he said.
Barrera also suggested for adequate funding of coffee research facilities at Aiyura to conduct research on a collaborative approach with overseas experts on infestation level of CBB at different
altitudes in the country.
Barrera will do a final presentation on his findings before submitting a report with recommendations on the management strategies of the CBB pest.
The chief executive officer of CIC Charles Dambui said some of the findings from Dr Barrera’s field assessment would guide CIC to restrategise its approaches and appropriate resources to counteract the spread of CBB in the long-run.
“To effectively minimise the incidence of pest infestation level, CIC must have an income revenue stream adequate to fund and contain CBB all year-round,” he said.
Dambui was grateful for Barrera’s findings and is looking forward to the final presentation that will include other contributing factors to coffee production in the affected areas.