Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Agri ministry enforces ban on transfer of cocoa plants to reduce spread of Frosty Pod Rot

Published:Sunday | October 16, 2016 | 10:01 PM

The agriculture ministry has enforced a ban on the transfer of cocoa plants or parts across Jamaica's borders.

Notice of the ban was published in today's Sunday Gleaner. This is part of the agriculture ministry's efforts to stem the spread of the Frosty Pod Rot of Cocoa disease.

Agriculture officials have said the highly contagious fungal disease could result in crop losses of between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of production. The disease is caused by the fungus, Moniliophthoraroreri.

Under the order, people are prohibited from bringing into Jamaica or moving from one area of the country to the next, any cocoa pods, plants, seedling, cutting, plant product, plant related material or plant related article, unless authorised by the chief plant quarantine officer in writing.

People who visit infected farms are also not allowed to visit other cocoa orchards, unless they have disinfected their clothes and shoes.

Owners and operators of orchards are also required under the order to report in writing to the chief quarantine officer, if they know or suspect the disease exists on their property.

The agriculture ministry has said it will be spending J$150 million over the next three years to eradicate the frosty pod rot disease.