Coffee (Coffea arabica and C. canephora) is grown in more than 10 million hectares in over 80 countries, and approximately 20 million families depend on coffee production for their livelihood. A major constraint to coffee production is the presence of a small bark beetle (ca. 2mm long) known as the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari); Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), which consumes the seeds inside the coffee berry. The insect is the most devastating insect pest of coffee worldwide and has been reported in most coffee producing countries. Our research program is aimed at elucidating the basic biology of the coffee berry borer and at developing novel pest management methods aimed at reducing the damage caused by the insect.
See an article in Agriculture Research magazine on this research.