Coffee is a plantation crop that plays an important role in Indonesia’s economic growth. Coffee is also the most popular commodity among plantation farmers, especially in highland areas.
Indonesia, which has a tropical climate and fertile land, is very suitable for the growth of coffee plants. It is also supported by weather, nutrients and rainfall that are suitable for coffee plants.
According to the Directorate General of Plantations, the area of coffee plantations in Indonesia in 2020 was 1.249.615 million hectares, with a total production of 639,412 tons, and productivity of 785 kg/ha.
High coffee productivity, of course, also experiences various obstacles in its cultivation. The most common hurdles coffee farmers face are pests and diseases. According to Kusmiati (2012), it is estimated that an average of 30 percent of the decline in productivity of a commodity is caused by pest attacks.
To find out more about the main enemies of coffee plants or the types of pests that attack coffee, here is a summary of the five main enemies of coffee plants, among others:
Borer beetle(Hypothenemus hampei)
This black-brown beetle attacks coffee plants by attaching eggs to coffee leaves and fruits. The beetle larvae will eat away at the coffee fruits and leaves. As a result, coffee plants are damaged and experience a decline in productivity quality.
Xylosandrus morigerus (Stem beetle)
It generally attacks the base of the trunk and young branches of coffee plants. Stem beetles cause stem damage and twig fall on coffee plants, so coffee cannot bear fruit.
Powder Beetle(Xyleborus compactus)
Unlike the stem beetle, this one is much smaller in size. Due to their powdery size, these beetles will look like flour attached to coffee plants. This beetle attacks almost everywhere-stems, leaves and fruits, making it difficult for coffee plants to grow to their full potential.
Coccus viridis (Green Flea)
These creatures usually live in groups at the base of each coffee plant stem. These bugs suck plant juices, making the plant appear wilted and dry. Green bugs also produce honey dew, and hence, attract ants and other insects to coffee plants.
Squirrels are one of the most annoying pests in coffee plantations. Squirrels usually eat ripe coffee cherries and gnaw on twigs and branches. This causes fruit and stem damage.
Therefore, farmers need to take preventive measures against coffee plant pests. So that the quality and productivity of coffee plants do not decline. Prevention is also done to reduce economic losses and disease transmission between coffee plants.
The following are tips for controlling coffee plant pests that need to be considered:
- Farmers should ensure that coffee plantation land is diligently cleaned and free of weeds.
- Farmers must be diligent in applying pesticides regularly, both organic and inorganic pesticides. However, it is important that the pesticides used are not banned and affect the selling value of the coffee.
- Farmers must be diligent in pruning branches/stems that have been infested and destroy them immediately (burned).
- Farmers should make insect traps to prevent pests from nesting in coffee plants.
- Farmers should fertilize regularly so that the plants are resistant to pests and diseases.
Keep in mind that pest control does not mean mass extermination of insects and other living things in coffee plantations. This is because it will disrupt the ecosystem and food chain.
Pest control is supposed to prevent economic losses, not destroy biodiversity. For this reason, it is also necessary to pay attention to preserving the environment.
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