Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Particle Film Formulation with Microbial Control Agents (MCAs) for the Control of Insect Pests and Diseases of Cacao in the Philippines

Photographs showing treated cacao pod with cacao mirid bugs (CMB) introduced into plastic cups (left) and treated pods in a cacao tree (right).

Field assessment of the zeolite as a coating agent against insect pests of cacao attacking pods was done. The assessment was done on cacao mirid bug as the sample pest.  Both field cage and open field experiments were conducted in the cacao demonstration field at the Laguna Campus of De La Salle University and at the cacao field in Candelaria, Quezon, respectively. Results showed deterrence effect of zeolite from the feeding of cacao mirid bug in both tests. Scanning Electron Microscope analysis of treated cacao leaves and pods was performed to determine if there will be interference in the normal physiological activity of the plants. Result showed no blocking of the stomates in both the zeolite coated leaves and pods suggesting no interference on the growth of plant particularly on the pods. Non-target effect of the zeolite coating was also determining on the two predators associated with cacao mirid bugs through field cage experiment. It also showed no negative effect on the non-targets. Thus, the current formulation has a huge potential for the control of CMB and these findings can be echoed to Cacao Pod Borer and Black Pod Rot.

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