Bailey B.A., Meindhart L.W. (Eds): Cacao diseases: a history of old enemies and new encounters
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This is a welcome addition to an important topic. With an estimated 4–5 million cocoa farmers around the world, predominantly in low income countries, they and their dependants are crucially dependent on the vitality and productivity of this major commodity. The list of major diseases is impressive and worrying; together they represent a significant production constraint, even if the authors of different chapters can’t quite agree on the exact extent. An informative opening chapter by Ploetz on the global impact of cocoa diseases gives losses of a ‘conservative total of 20%’ while later authors vary from ‘an estimated … 40% of all production’ (p512) to ‘approximately one third’ (p567).
Whatever the true losses – and costs – of cocoa diseases, there is no disputing that frosty pod rot, witches’ broom, black pod rot, cacao (sic) swollen shoot virus and vascular streak dieback all play an important part in limiting farmer earnings. These five main diseases are dealt with exhaustively,...
- Thorold, C. A. (1975). Diseases of cocoa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar