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Cocoa Pod Borer Research Programs

Cocoa pod borer is major insect pest in Indonesia and much of Southeast Asia. WCF currently supports multiple research efforts to minimize the effects of cocoa pod borer across the region.

Southeast Asia 


Project Profile 1:

Effectiveness of Bio-coater Spraying in Controlling Cocoa Pod Borer

Project Dates:




Research Description:

WCF funds research by the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute to develop and test a “biocoater” spray made with natural ingredients such as extract from the elephant yam tuber (Amorphophallus muelleri), to prevent the effects of cocoa pod borer. Currently, “pod sleeving,” covering cocoa pods with plastic sleeves, is recommended as the most effective method of control.  However, this is labor intensive and produces plastic waste.  Biodegradable sleeves are available, but must be disposed of properly in order to biodegrade.  

Results: Preliminary results indicate that the biocoater is roughly equivalent to pesticide in terms of effectiveness.  Data collection and analysis continue.


Project Profile 2:

Developing an Artificial Diet for Cocoa Pod Borer

Project Dates:

Ongoing from 2010

Research Description:

WCF supports a research project with the University of Southern Mindanao, to develop an artificial diet for cocoa pod borer.  If successful, this study will facilitate study of the insect pest by allowing for mass rearing in a laboratory setting. Additionally, WCF is supporting the university’s participation in a regional hybrid exchange and field trial with cocoa research institutes in five other cocoa-producing countries in the Asia/Pacific region.  Hybrids are evaluated for high yields in the presence of cocoa pod borer, vascular streak dieback and black pod rot. 

Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute

University of Southern Mindanao

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