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Abstract

West Indies Campus, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica ABSTARCT: The Jamaican coffee industry suffers estimated annual losses of $US 2-3M because of damage to coffee beans by the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei Ferrari. Due to pressure from the international community, the Coffee Industry Board (CIB) is being forced to find alternatives to widely-used chemical control (involving application of an organochlorine insecticide, endosulfan) of the pest. In its effort to find alternatives, CIB initiated discussions with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Jamaica to implement the "Biological control of the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei Ferr. in Jamaica" project. Inputs in areas of finance, technical expertise, starting material, research and training were deemed necessary the successful implementation of this project. This was facilitated by strengthening already-existing partnerships. CIB provided financial support for the work to be carried out by CARDI Jamaica. The technical expertise was provided locally through the University of the West Indies (UWI), and internationally through PROMECAFE, a Latin American organization to which Jamaica belongs. PROMECAFE also provided stock cultures to begin rearing of the parasitoids in Jamaica. Field research was facilitated on coffee farms through cooperation of coffee farmers and CIB. Aspects of the laboratory research were conducted by UWI students for their final year research project course. The success of this project and its transformation to a national programme is dependent on stakeholders and interest groups being sensitized to the programme and trained in biological control and parasitoid rearing procedures. This was achieved through a partnership with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, UWI, CIB and other members of the coffee industry. The partnerships that were strengthened during this project resulted in the successful development and implementation of the biological control of the CBB project. Three parasitoids were introduced and successfully reared in Jamaica, released in the field and their establishment confirmed. Rural rearing facilities have been established and over 110 Jamaicans trained/ sensitized about CBB biological control. It is expected that these fortified partnerships will help to ensure the sustainability of biological control as an integral component of an integrated approach to the management of CBB in Jamaica.

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