Why is it a problem?
The coffee berry borer is the most serious pest of coffee in many of the major production countries. The beetle feeds on coffee plants and has been known to attack 100% of berries. Crop losses can be very severe and coffee quality from damaged berries is poor, making it harder to sell them at market.
- Reduces coffee yield
- Lower quality berries
- Reduces native biodiversity
- Negatively impacts livelihoods
What’s the solution?
By picking all of the berries, rather than the berries that the famers pick for harvest, an infestation can be prevented. In areas where berries were not left to fall to the ground and rot, risk of Coffee berry borer invasion was significantly less likely.
Intensive efforts have been made over the last 20 years to find a biocontrol option for coffee berry borer; however all of these attempts have come back with disappointing results. Wasps such as Phymastichus coffea and Heterospilus coffeicola have been indentified as some of the more promising biocontrol options, as they target the adult beetle, whereas other agents only tackle the pest at its larval or egg stage.