Towards the development of an integrated pest management system of Helopeltis in Malaysia

Parent Category: 1989

I. Azhar


Helopeltis is a major insect pest of cocoa in Malaysia. Hence its management is of prime importance to ensure profitable yield. Cocoa is a relatively new crop in Malaysia and research on the management of Helopeltis is relatively scanty. As such, management approaches are largely based on West African experiences where considerable research has been carried out. However, this management approach is largely based on chemicals, which remain the first line of defence in existing Helopeltis management strategies in Malaysia. The development of chemical control of Helopeltis is discussed. The salient features of biological and cultural control are also examined. A lack of understanding of the principles involved has resulted in minor use of them in Helopeltis management. Nevertheless, the significant role of ants in limiting Helopeltis attack, especially under the cocoa and coconut ecosystem, is worth considering in the development of an integrated pest management (IPM) system regardless of the size of cocoa areas. With the ultimate aim of reducing chemical usage monitoring of the Helopeltis populations and the understanding of -their ecology have become important in the implementation of IPM. The use of an early warning system is one of the means by which the objectives of IPM may be achieved with subsequent improvement in cocoa yield.

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