Coconut Industry Threats

• Coconuts do have threats but not too lethal cf. BCS
• BCS is very deadly (like lethal yellowing in other countries) & caused by a phythosplasma
• BCS is only present in Madang based on 2012 survey.
• In a research study done (Furan site, Madang) on the rate of killing, BCS kills1-2 palms per month.
• BCS phytoplasma has 3 confirmed host plants i.e. Banana,
Betelnut and Coconut (Suspected in taro, yams, sago & cassava)
• Within 3 months a palm dies when BCS phytoplasma is present.







Bogia District

  • 1980-81- reports of Yaro & Vidaro plantations, Bogia affected.
  • 2012 Ulingan/Tupira Guesthouse area affected
  • 2012 Korak was affected

Sumkar District

  • 2013 Kuseng village
  • 2013 Mobdub village/near to CCI Murnas
  • 2017-2018 Katom village, Karkar Island

Madang District

  • 2009 Furan was affected
  • 2014 Sagalau, near Madang town
  • 2015 Gum bridge area to Mambu market, Siar village, Madang
  • 2016-17 4-Mile market and Vidar/Maivara
  • 2017-2018 – Rivo village/Jais Aben

Movement of BCS

• Through use of diseased planting materials – long distance movement
• Insect vectors – re-distribution of BCS locally by infected insects (short distance).

Implications for Food Security/Coconut Industry

  • Potential problem – (killing 1-2 coconut palms a month) Every day Papua New Guinean & Smallholders’ livelihood seriously affected dependent on coconut for food, shelter, etc..and income.
  • Food security issues major concern, bananas & coconuts affected – suspected in other food crops.
  • Quarantine restrictions on sales of coconut seedlings in Madang Province.

Awareness & Internal Quarantine

  • Madang declared BCS quarantine area
  • Tapo check point
    • no coconuts with shoots allowed through
    • no planting materials of crops allowed through Others at sea ports and airport
  • Awareness is on-going


  • Sanitation (cut down & destroy disease palms). Only slows down epidemiology.
  • Sanitation training and awareness done by NAQIA/KIK/Madang DPI in April 2016 (Only in Coconut Gene bank and its buffer zones).
  • Genebank sanitation – weed control, coconut fronds & husk, buffer zone slashing, pruning of cocoa trees, drainage, mulching.
  • Restrict movement of all planting materials within Madang Province and out of Madang.
  • Implemented at Tapo Check point.
  • Develop integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) strategies for BCS (development stage)

Other BCS related projects: International

  • Cage studies to determine insect vectors for BCS
  • ACIAR funded project at Mobdu.
  • BCS Diagnostic Kit for coconut phytoplasma – development stage – Professor Jimmy Botella, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Relocation of Genebank in Madang to Alotau due to BCS threat – PNG Government and Darwin Initiative Project under COGENT.


  • BCS Containment on sanitation work an enormous task and need resource requirements and support.
  • Research into BCS related areas is slow (takes time) and very expensive.
  • BCS is still spreading to new areas in Madang.
  • Continues BCS Monitoring and Surveillance lacking within, Madang and throughout PNG.
  • Social related studies lacking in BCS.

Future Work

  • GoPNG to provide funding for
    • Implementing a sanitation program
    • Improving check points at Tapo and various ports
    • Relocating the Coconut Genebank to Punipuni, Milne Bay Provice
  • Regular monitoring and surveillance of BCS in Madang and other provinces in PNG.
  • ACIAR project on insect vectors, develop IPM for BCS


  • BCS kills 1-2 palms per month
  • BCS is a threat to Coconut Industry
  • BCS impacts livelihood of every day Papua New Guinean and smallholders (and exporters).
  • Host plants – bananas, coconuts & betelnuts
  • Sanitation is a tedious task and needed full resource support
  • Research result slow & expensive