Assessing the effect of fungicide treatment on Cocoa black pod disease in Ghana: Insight from mathematical modeling
AbstractBlack pod disease is caused by fungi of the species Phytophthora palmivora or Phytophthora megakarya. The disease causes darkening of affected areas of cocoa trees and/or fruits and leads to significant reduction in crop yields and decreases lifespan of the plant. This study presents a simple S_1S_2IT-type model with variable population size to assess the impact of fungicide treatment on the dynamics of the black pod disease. We do both theoretical studies and numerical simulations of the model. In particular, we analyze the existence of equilibrium points and their stability, simulate the model using data on reported black pod cases from Ghana. In addition, we perform sensitivity analysis of the basic reproduction number with respect to the model parameters. The results show that the top three parameters that govern the dynamics of the black pod disease are the treatment rate, transmission rate, and planting rate of new trees
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