This fungus, detected in several cocoa plantations in Barlovento, is one of the worst enemies of this fruit.
The Miranda state government has begun to activate measures to manage the presence of the witches broom fungus in some cocoa plantations in Barlovento, Brion municipality, Miranda state.
This fungus, which acts in two stages, kills cocoa trees in an average of three to five months; and in humid climates, like the ones we have in our country, there are perfect conditions for it to spread rapidly.
In this sense, representatives of the inter-institutional commission for the phytosanitary management of cocoa, after detecting this fungus, held a meeting to establish a comprehensive diagnostic plan and activate measures to push back witches' broom in Barlovento plantations.
In Sucre the witch's broom wreaks havoc
In Sucre, the state with the highest cocoa production in Venezuela, witches' broom affected more than 70% of the harvest in the first quarter of 2022.
This fungus cannot be treated when it has already affected the cacao tree. Its prevention is the only measure that can be taken through control mechanisms such as cleaning the cacao plantations.
However, when diagnosed, the solution is to remove all infected plants to stop the spread. According to experts, the most efficient control against witches' broom is pruning.
In the state of Sucre there are 7 cocoa producers distributed in ten of the 500 municipalities of the entity, and all of them are added to the phytosanitary control.
One of the measures that countries like Ecuador have taken to prevent the spread of the witch's broom fungus is the crossing of the cocoa plant with the clone CCN-51, which is a more productive variety and resistant to diseases, but it affects the quality of this fruit.