Increasing the resilience of cacao to major pest and disease threats in the 21st century
Cocoa is an important agricultural crop and export for millions of smallholder farmers in the Asia-Pacific region and for many countries respectively. With up to 38% of the cacao crop lost to fungal, viral and pest problems each year, pests and diseases present a significant threat to the cocoa supply chain and industry, and the livelihoods of cocoa growers.
Plant protection practices that integrate physical, chemical and biological management approaches are required for the sustainability and profitability of smallholder cocoa producers. ACIAR has invested in cocoa research since 1983, in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and will continue investing in cocoa and plant health research in partner countries. Mars Wrigley has been a significant research partner and co-investor over this period and has helped to scale out innovations from research projects.
Hosting a symposium on increasing the resilience of cacao to pest and disease threats was an opportunity to share and capture knowledge from diverse experts from Asia-Pacific cocoa-producing countries. These proceedings summarise the latest in cocoa pest and disease management research across the Asia-Pacific region.