Management of black pod disease of cocoa with reduced number of fungicide application and crop sanitation

Publication Type:

Journal Article


African Journal of Agricultural Research , Volume 2, Issue 11, p.601–604 (2007)



Black pod disease caused by Phytophthora megakarya is the most important fungal disease on cocoa in Ghana. The current recommended control method of combining sanitation practices with 6 - 8 fungicide applications in a year is considered unfriendly to the environment, too expensive and time consuming. Consequently, fungicide adoption rate by farmers is extremely low. Studies were therefore conducted to determine the effectiveness of combining 1 - 3 fungicide application in June and/or September/October with crop sanitation for the control of cocoa black pod disease caused by P. megakarya. Sanitation practices were common to all the treatments and the fungicide application(s) superimposed. A semi-systemic fungicide, Ridomil 72 plus (12% metalaxyl + 60% copper-1-oxide), was used as the test fungicide. Fungicide application combined with crop sanitation practices were effective in the management of the severe form of black pod disease caused by P. megakarya, resulting in 25% to 48% disease reduction and 10.9% to 51.8% yield increase. Combining the sanitation practices with three fungicide applications gave significantly better results, in terms of disease control and yields than either sanitation practices alone or combining them with one or two fungicide applications. However, the combination of sanitation practices and three fungicide applications was significantly less effective than the standard fungicide application of six times a year. All the fungicide applications and/or crop sanitation practices were profitable with a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) ranging from 1.8 - 2.1.