Warning over spread of coffee borer beetle in PNG

10:28 am on 26 June 2017

Agricultural officials in Papua New Guinea are warning that the coffee borer beetle will continue to spread if the government doesn't fund its containment.

The Coffee Berry Borer is a pest

The coffee borer beetle Photo: supplied

The beetle is considered one of the most of the harmful coffee crop pests in the world, and it was found to have re-emerged in PNG earlier this year.

The ministry of agriculture has estimated about 80 percent of PNG's coffee production could be lost if the threat from the beetle is not dealt with.

But a senior entomologist at the National Quarantine and Inspection Authority, David Tenakanai, said money promised by the government had not yet been released.

He said the funding delay had resulted in the beetle spreading from nine gardens in Jiwaka, to the whole of Eastern Highlands province.

Mr Tenakanai said biosecurity authorities had set up checkpoints on provincial borders and are trying to contain and eradicate the bug, but the authority desperately needs the promised money.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs