Eradication of cocoa pod borer

​January 2014

The National Management Group (NMG) is pleased to announce the successful eradication of the Cocoa Pod Borer (Conopomorpha cramerella) from Australia.

Cocoa Pod Borer was detected in a cocoa plantation in north Queensland in April 2011 and has since been the subject of a nationally cost-shared eradication program.

Cocoa Pod Borer is a significant exotic pest that affects cocoa, rambutan and several other tropical crops. It is commonly found in south east Asia and the Pacific. If it were to establish in Australia, it would affect the viability and likely limit the expansion of Australia’s emerging cocoa and rambutan industries.

The Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry implemented a thorough two year program in accordance with the response plan agreed by the National Management Group (NMG) under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (the deed). This deed is the agreement between the Australian Government, all state and territory governments, national plant industry bodies and Plant Health Australia to manage national responses to emergency plant pests.

All parties acknowledged the importance of the deed in providing well established national eradication response arrangements, including the facilitation of prompt decision making and provision for sharing funding across affected parties.

The deed plays a significant role as part of the national biosecurity system in protecting Australia’s favourable pest and disease status. It allows signatory plant production industries to contribute to national decision making on emergency plant pest responses that may impact them. The deed also provides for responses to be funded by the Commonwealth and state/territory governments where a pest impacts on a small industry with a local value of production less than $20 million, as is the case with Australia’s cocoa industry. 

Australia is the only country to have achieved national eradication of this pest.