New outbreak of pest that affects cocoa and cupuaçu cultivation is detected in Amazonas

Mapa will adopt the appropriate contingency measures applied to the situation, aiming to prevent the spread of the pest to cultivation areas in other regions

17.11.2022 | 13:43 (UTC -3)
Mapa
Mapa will adopt the appropriate contingency measures applied to the situation, aiming to prevent the spread of the pest to cultivation areas in other regions; Photo: Disclosure
Mapa will adopt the appropriate contingency measures applied to the situation, aiming to prevent the spread of the pest to cultivation areas in other regions; Photo: Disclosure

A new focus of the plague Moniliophthora roreri, which causes the disease known as Cocoa Moniliasis, was detected in the municipality of Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas, in the triple border region between Brazil, Colombia and Peru. This time, the case was detected in rural riverside communities. 

The suspected occurrence of the pest was verified during monitoring actions carried out by a team of technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa), with the support of the Agricultural and Forestry Defense Agency of the State of Amazonas (Adaf), and confirmed by through laboratory analysis carried out by the Federal Agricultural Defense Laboratory of Goiânia (LFDA/GO).  

Moniliasis is a devastating disease that affects plants of the genus Theobroma, such as cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) and cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum), causing losses in production and an increase in costs due to the need for additional management measures and application of fungicides to control the pest. 

In South America, the plague is already present in Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru. “Due to its peculiar characteristics (border with countries where the plague already occurs and geoclimatic conditions favorable to its dispersion, among others) the Northern Triple Border region was already considered an area at risk for the introduction of Moniliophthora roreri in Brazil and had been routinely monitored over the last few years”, reports the general coordinator of Plant Protection, Graciane de Castro. 

Now, upon confirmation of the focus, Mapa will adopt the appropriate contingency measures applied to the situation, together with the other official Plant Health and research institutions involved, aiming to prevent the spread of the pest to cocoa and cupuaçu in other regions. 

“Phytosanitary detection surveys (monitoring) allow the early identification of a possible occurrence of exotic pests in the country and, consequently, the immediate adoption of containment and control measures with the aim of preventing their spread to other areas without the occurrence of the pest. ”, explains Castro. 

Cocoa Moniliasis in Brazil 

The first focus of the plague in Brazil was identified in July 2021 in an urban residential area in the municipality of Cruzeiro do Sul, in the interior of Acre. Currently the state is under permanent control actions, with a view to its eradication. 

In August 2022, Mapa extended, by one year, the validity period of the phytosanitary emergency related to the imminent risk of introduction of the absent quarantine pest Moniliophthora roreri in the States of Acre, Amazonas and Rondônia. 

Due to its potential for damage to the crops it affects, immediate notification of any suspected occurrence of the pest to the local phytosanitary authorities is of fundamental importance. The objective of the Ministry of Agriculture is to eradicate the pest as quickly as possible, while it is still in a restricted area of ​​the country. 

The disease only affects host plants of the fungus, without any risk of harm to human health. 

LS Tractor February