Mitigating Antestia Bug Damage and the Potato Taste Defect in Rwandan Coffee


June 21, 2018 - Author: & Joseph Bigirimana

Andrew Gerard & Joseph Bigirimana, 2018. Mitigating Antestia Bug Damage and the Potato Taste Defect in Rwandan Coffee. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Brief 63. East Lansing: Michigan State University


  • The potato taste defect (PTD) reduces the value of coffee in Africa’s Great Lakes Region, and in doing so decreases farmer incomes.
  • The antestia bug is an East African coffee pest that can cause up to 40% of coffee cherry loss.
  • While scholars have suggested that the antestia bug may cause PTD, a new study presents experimental evidence that controlling antestia reduces PTD.
  • This study also shows that Fastac (10% alpha-cypermethrin) and organic pyrethrum-based pesticides, when combined with pruning, are effective at controlling antestia and reducing PTD.
  • While the percentage of farmers using pesticide has increased since 2015, 24.41% of farmers still do not use pesticide.
  • Further, most farmers do not receive training on antestia control.
  • Policy recommendations to improve antestia and PTD control are included.



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