Cocoa swollen shoot virus in found primarily in the eastern region of Ghana. It dries our plants' roots and leaf stems so that small pods are produced and the beans are not fit for sale. Swollen shoot disease has destroyed over 20 million trees in the east, and is not moving to the western region of Ghana. Unfortunately, western Ghana produces most of the country's cocoa and many farms are now at risk.
Interestingly, researchers for the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) have discovered a hybrid cocoa variety that is tolerant of the virus - it does not affect growth or development of the pods up to harvest. Ghana is trying to promote the hybrid variety so that cocoa production can increase.
Plant viruses are so cool! Read more here: