May and June are usually the months during which black pod disease has the best conditions to spread. This is due to the limited number of dry days that are linked to long periods of continuous pod wetting in the field, which creates the ideal conditions for fungal infections.
In the Nzema East and Tarkwa Nsuaem districts in Ghana, the number of days without precipitations has been in line with the past for the last 3 months. The temperature has been stable and close enough to the average not to influence the overall risk of black pod.
However, these districts did experience very intense rainfall in the second half of June. This created very favourable conditions at the soil level for the fungus to spread and reach the fruits thanks to the splashing of raindrops on waterlogged soil.
In these districts, the farmers managed to keep the black pod disease under check but, in light of the recent events, their attention must continue to be high, or the situation can quickly spiral out of control.