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On the use of Mathematical Modelling to study the impact of phytosanitation on cocoa black pod disease caused by Phytophthora megakarya

Nembot Fomba C.G., Takam Soh P., Ambang Z., Ten Hoopen G.M., Dumont Y.. 2017. In : Proceedings of the International Symposium on Cocoa Research 2017. Lima : ICCO, 11 p.. International Symposium on Cocoa Research ¿ ISCR 2017 : Promoting Advances in Research to Enhance the Profitability of Cocoa Farming. 1, 2017-11-13/2017-11-17, Lima (Pérou).

Cocoa black pod rot, due to several Phytophthora spp., like Phytophthora megakarya, is the most important disease worldwide and the main cocoa disease in Africa, responsible for yield losses up to 50-80% in the absence of control measures. In this paper, we show how the use of Mathematical modelling and analysis can be helpful to better understand the mechanisms behind black pod rot epidemic s and, also to identify gaps in our knowledge. Although black pod rot of cocoa is of major concern and much attention has been dedicated to it, there are still many questions regarding the factors that govern disease dynamics. For instance the relative importance of the two different sources of inoculum (primary and secondary) and spore dispersal dynamics are not well understood. In an attempt to provide answers to these (or some of these) questions, a temporal compartmental model has been developed and study, that allows to investigate the impact of phytosanitary pod removal on cocoa black pod epidemics. Using the model analysis, we highlight two thresholds, related to the model's parameters, that drive all possible dynamics of the system, and show the relative importance of some compartments in the disease dynamics. Numerical simulations are also provided to illustrate our results and discuss the impact of sanitary harvest.

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