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Source: MarketWatch [summ. Mod.DHA, edited]

Cocoa farmers in Cross River State are battling an outbreak of black pod disease after 2 weeks of heavy rainfall. While the rains were beneficial by providing moisture, expensive agrochemicals now have to be applied to protect the plants.

As a result of the outbreak, the 2022-23 main crop of cocoa is being threatened by the disease at a time when the harvest is close. Black pod could destroy around 40% of Nigeria's annual cocoa production if left untreated.

[Byline: Obafemi Oredein]

Communicated by:

[Black pod (also called _Phytophthora_ pod rot) is the primary fungal disease affecting cocoa worldwide. In Africa, the fungus-like pathogens _Phytophthora palmivora_ and _P. megakarya_ are associated with it; the latter is thought to be confined to the region. Two additional species are found in the Americas. _P. palmivora_ is the most common of the pathogens overall; it can cause yield losses as high as 95% in very humid climates, with every pod affected. Pods progressively turn dark brown. Losses are most severe when pods are infected during the 2 months prior to ripening. The disease also causes stem cankers, which are estimated to kill up to 10% of trees annually in affected areas.

Black pod is spread by insect activities, mechanical means, plant debris, water, and wind. Multiple infections from several sources may occur in plantations, with epiphytotics developing from a series of foci simultaneously. Genetic resistance is generally low in commercial cocoa cultivars. Disease management is difficult and needs an integrated approach including cultural and phytosanitary measures, as well as targeted fungicide use.

To prevent problems with rain wash-off of foliar fungicides, trunk injections with phosphorous compounds have been shown to be an effective alternative. However, like chemical sprays, they need to be repeated whenever protection is required. Similar methods are being used in the control of _P. cinnamomi_ diseases in some tree species, for example, jarrah dieback and avocado root rot in Australia. The mode of the protective action of these compounds against _Phytophthora_ species is still being investigated.

Nigeria:,,12029, and (states)
Africa, overview:

Black pod symptoms:,,, and

Information on cocoa black pod:,,,,,, via,, and
Black pod, reviews: and via
_P. palmivora_ taxonomy & synonyms: and
_P. megakarya_ taxonomy: and
- Mod.DHA]


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