A comprehensive review of the literature on scientific research into the Cape Saint Paul Wilt Disease (CSPWD) of coconut in Ghana was carried out for a three-fold objective: (1) to highlight past scientific research efforts and achievements; (2) so as to provide a reasonably objective basis for evaluating current research efforts at containing the menace of the disease in Ghana, with the view to making an informed proposition on the future course of CSPWD research in the country and finally; (3) to provide a succinct ‘one-stop’ reference information on all scientific research works carried out since the first incidence of the disease in the country in 1932. Farm hygiene, by way of felling infected coconut palms immediately upon detection is useful only to slow the spread of the disease, but not to eliminate it. The search for phytoplasma vectors has yet to provide any empirical evidence of the existence of such pestiferous vectors in Ghana. Even though, one indigenous grass species, Desmodium adscendeus has been found to harbour lethal yellowing phytoplasma, no causal evidence has been established between the presence of this grass and the incidence of CSPWD in coconut farms. Only breeding of coconut germplasms (seed nuts and pollen) for CSPWD resistance has thus far yielded some apparently tolerant coconut varieties and their hybrids. As a result, the profitability of coconut cultivation in Ghana, and its competitive position on the vegetable oils market, will largely depend on the progress made in research, particularly in breeding research.
Key words: Scientific review, epidemiology, Cape Saint Paul Wilt Disease (CSPWD), phytoplasma, breeding research, coconut germplasm.
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