The role of pest management techniques in Indonesian cocoa production


J. Perdew; G. Shively

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In the tropics, pest infestation is often a major constraint to agricultural production. Moreover, research earmarked for pest control and pest knowledge is minimal compared to that of research conducted with application to industrialized countries. When pests are not easily controlled this may lead to substantial decreases in yield and high yield variability. This research provides insight into sources of yield variability that in turn generates information for farmers, local extension agents, and the international development community. This research will also contribute to the improvement of outcomes on smallholder cocoa farms in the tropics.

In recent times, the Indonesian cocoa industry, characterized by inefficient agricultural and management practices, has suffered from substantial losses in yields (up to 40%) and income (collectively $300 million annually) due to a pest infestation by the Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB) moth. CPB infestation and the inability to control the pest have reduced the industry s reliance on purchasing a consistent supply of quality beans.

Shedding light on reducing CBP infestation will enable future development aid projects to better target efforts. Measuring the welfare of cocoa farmers by identifying blocks or groups of successful farmers and by comparing efficient use of available technologies will contribute to the gap in knowledge. This paper analyzes different technologies and management strategies currently in use to answer three questions: (1) How do current treatments affect output levels? (2) To what extent do these treatments have differential impacts on yields and yield variability? and; (3) What is the profitability of each treatment?

Additional Bibliographic Information

Presented at the annual meeting of the American Agricultural Economics Association, Portland, OR, 31 July 2007

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