Field testing an oil-based Trichoderma asperellum formulation for the biological control of cacao black pod disease, caused by Phytophthora megakarya
Crop Protection 132, 105134
Cacao black pod rot (BPR), caused by Phytophthora megakarya is the most important cacao disease in Cameroon. Biocontrol of this disease using an oil-based formulation of Trichoderma asperellum PR11 provided more consistent and long-lasting protection of cacao pods under laboratory and experimental plot conditions. The objective of this study was to test this formulation under farmer field conditions in Cameroon. A randomized block design was used in two farmer fields to see whether the formulation could compete with the most commonly used control method, fungicide sprays. The results showed that the formulation reduced BPR consistently, and did not differ from fungicide treatments. Moreover, there was an additive effect of T. asperellum PR11 and the formulation's inert components. This clearly shows the potential of oil-formulated T. asperellum PR11 as a viable alternative to chemical control of BPR under farmer field conditions.