Hypothenemus hampei, Lao Minimize

June 2005. A request for information on Coffee Berry Borer, Hypothenemus hampei, which is causing significant damage to the developing coffee industry in the southern province of Lao PDR. In view of the status of the mostly small scale farmers, control measures are severely limited. In recent years, much research has been done on biological control of CBB and the development of IPM programmes; however, a conclusive outcome does not appear to have been achieved.

Jamaica has done a lot of work on the borer. Phillip Chung (chung_p2@yahoo.com) should be able to help.

Neem (Azadirachtaindica indica) may have potential against the coffee berry borer in Lao PDR. Seed kernels should be crushed and extracted in water overnight, to produce a 5% solution, then sprayed onto the bushes. Neem should be growing throughout Lao, so seeds can be collected easily.

Two publications on its use are: Sponagel K (1993) Doctoral Thesis Univ. Giessen, Germany (in German) and Rodriguez-Lagunes et al. (1998) Aqueas extracts of neem for the control of CBB (in Spanish). Manejo Integrado de Plagas 49: 73-77. They mentioned a 75% control which is much better than synthetic pesticides. Also, contact Dr Carsten Hellpap at GTZ, Eschborn, Germany.

Later, an article in the Scientist reported lateral gene transfer in the beetle, i.e swap of genetic material between different sercies. A paper saying this occurs in Coffee berry borer was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences