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Coffee Berry Borer Quarantine Expanded to Maui

Posted March 15, 2017, 03:44 PM HST
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Coffee Berry Borer. Images Courtesy Hawaiʻi State Department of Agriculture.

The Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture on Tuesday expanded the coffee berry borer quarantine to include the island of Maui, effective May 1, 2017.

The quarantine, which has been in effect on Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu, restricts the interisland movement of coffee and other CBB hosts and requires treatment and other quarantine protocols.

Although recent detections of CBB were located in Hāna and Kīpahulu, the board decided that an island-wide quarantine was necessary to prevent the further spread of CBB in the state. The quarantine restrictions apply to all Maui coffee growers and roasters and to any individual or entity that transports coffee and related CBB host material from Maui interisland.

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in September 2010 in Kona and discovered in Kaʻū in May 2011. In December 2014, it was discovered on Oʻahu and in December 2016 was found on Maui. So far, CBB has not been detected on Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.

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This small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Since its detection in Kona, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop.

CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America. It is still unknown how CBB made its way to Hawaiʻi Island and how it arrived on Oahu and Maui. Hawaii has strict importation rules that require fumigation of all imported green coffee beans to rid the beans of pathogens and insect pests. Coffee plants and plant parts are also restricted from being imported to Hawaiʻi under Plant Quarantine rules.

In addition, HDOA issued a quarantine order that requires a permit from HDOA to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from Hawaiʻi Island to other islands that are not infested with the coffee berry borer. The rules also require certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment.

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