Study on diseases and insect-pests of coffee in Nepal
Funding -
Coordination -
Location(s) - Nepal
Lat: Long:
Syangja and Kabhre

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The studies on insect pests and diseases were carried out by Entomology and Plant Pathology Divisions, NARC, during 2003 September to 2004 August to identify major insect pests and diseases of coffee and their infestation level in Syangja and Kavrepalanchowk districts. Key Informant Survey was done to explore overall situation of coffee cultivation of the districts and focus group discussion was done to explore the problems of coffee cultivation and its interrelated issues. After the surveys and discussions three field visits were made in different locations of each district covering low to high altitude, small to big farmers, various geographical setting as well as all vulnerable stages of coffee crop from insect pests and diseases infestation point of view.

Survey of 23 coffee orchards in Syangja and 20 orchards in Kavre was done to assess insect pests and disease situation. Insect pests and disease assessment was done in selected orchards. Insect and disease samples were taken for identification.

Coffee was being cultivated between 700 m asl to 1300 m asl in fertile, loam to infertile gravel mixed soil in both districts. Average number of coffee plants in an orchard (plantation) ranged 100-400 in both districts with highest number of 900 plants in Kavre and 4000 plants in Syangja. Major coffee plantation land types were upland followed by sloppy upland. The khet land (Low) was found in exceptional cases. The majority of coffee crop was intervened in cropping patterns such as maize-wheat/vegetable; Fruit + fodder+ grasses+; Fodder + turmeric/ginger; Fodder + fruits and Fodder + grasses + legumes were reported.

Farmers did not consider shade management as prerequisite for coffee plantation. Majority of the coffee was planted in the shade provided by indigenous fruits and fodder plants, which were already existed in the plantation sites. Sal, Katush, Chilaune, Nivaro, Badhar, Bedulo, Tote, Khaniya, Mayal and Kimbu were the indigenous plants and Suntala, Nibua, Amba, Kera, Mewa, Rukh katahar, Naspati, Aaru, Anar were fruit tree used as shade tree along with Ipil-ipil, Rai grass, Dadab as imported shade plant in Syangja districts. In some places Rahar was also used for shade management. Likewise Katush, Kimbu, Kutmiro, Khaniyo, Chanp, Kadam, Phalat and Rudrackcha were indigenous fodder plants and Nibua, Amba, Kera, Mewa, Aaru, Anar, Haluwabed, Avocado were fruit plants along with Dadab, Ipil-ipil were imported plants and Rahar as legumes were used as shade management in Kavre district.

The common coffee varieties were Bourbon, Pacamara, Caturra, Yellow Caturra, and varieties of selection series in both districts. Catisic and Caturra were two additional varieties planted by farmers of Kavre districts.

Farmer reported that stem borer, white grub, scale insect, termite, red stem borer were major insects along with squirrel and snail as non-insect pests on coffee crop in both the districts. Shooty mould, algal spot, leaf spot, leaf blight, cracking of bark were the common diseases problems reported by the farmers in both the districts. In nursery, the major diseases reported were leaf spot, damping off in Syangja and leaf blight and leaf spot in Kavre.

Farmers estimated crop losses 20% and 30% in Kavre and Syangja districts respectively. They guessed that the diseases caused more yield loss than insect in both the districts.

The farmers of both districts did not consider weed major problem. However, Bill goat, Knot grall, Cogon grass, Burmuda grass were the major weeds of Kavre while Cogon grass, Crab grass, Croftan weed were the major weeds of Syangja district. Hand weeding was reported as common weed management practice followed by the farmers of both districts.

Farmers of both districts were growing coffee organically. They informed that they were using plants such as garlic, chinaberry, neem, siam weed, stinging nettle, smart weed, mug wart, prickly ash, malabar nut tree, marry gold, tobacco plant to prepare plant based organic pesticides for managing insects as well as diseases problem as a local method.

The major institutions concerned with coffee cultivation in both districts were DCPA, CoPP HELVETAS, DADO and local non-governmental organizations. Involvement of female farmer in coffee cultivation. The decision making process regarding the activities of coffee cultivation was found male dominated at both districts. Male farmer alone did activities such as training and pruning, pesticide application and marketing.

Based on symptoms and isolated pathogens in the laboratory, the important diseases identified and conformed were Anthracnose (Collectotrichum gloeosporioides Penz.), Brown eye spot (Cercospora coffeicola), Damping off (Rhizoctonia solani), and Wilt disease (Fusarium spp.). Minor diseases like sooty mould and algal spots were also identified. Anthracnose was the most serious disease problem that affected leaves, twigs and berries of coffee. The fungus manifested three different disease conditions of coffee; twig die back, stalk rot of berries and leaves and brown blight of leaves. All three conditions were found in many orchard visited. Brown-eye-spot was observed in many nurseries, particularly in poorly managed nurseries and in many young orchards. The same pathogen Cercospora coffeicola causes berry blotch. The disease was observed in many orchards.

The major insect pests found were adults, pupa, and larvae of white stem borer and larvae of red stem borer, green scale, mealy bugs and aphids. Snail was also found problematic in the surveyed area. Other pest such as various types of grasshopper, hopper, hairy caterpillar, case worm and tortoise beetles were also found in the coffee orchard as minor insect pests.

Two species of white stem borer collected from the Karndanda –13, Syangja were identified as Chlorophorus annulatus and Xylotrechus smei from the family Cerambicidae of order Coleoptera. White stem borer was not found at different locations of Kavre districts visited. Two species of grasshopper were identified as Euparatettix personatus from the family Tetrigidae and Catantops pinges pinges from family Acrididae. Other specie identified was tortoise beetle (cassida sp.) from different locations of Kavre districts.

It was observed that majority of the coffee plantations were poorly managed. Some management practices have been suggested to reduce insect pests and diseases. Cultural and biological control measures have been emphasized to suite the organic coffee growing policy. Some research topics have also been suggested.
Project Experts
Dhakal, Dol P
Khadge, BR
Giri, YP
Aryal, Sunil

focal point: NFP - Nepal
entry date: September 2004
last modification: January 2006