Rapid and cost effective ‘on-site’ detection of Cacao swollen-shoot virus (CSSV).


Cocoa beans are the key raw material in chocolate manufacturing. In West Africa, where 70% of the

cocoa imported and consumed in the UK is produced, the chocolate industry has identified Cacao

Swollen Shoot Disease (CSSV) as the major constraint to productivity. A cacao farm with CSSV will suffer

declining yields and hence declining farmer income from what is often the only cash crop being grown.

To limit the spread of this disease it is essential to develop diagnostic test that can detect

presymptomatic infection facilitating its prompt control. In this proposal we will develop a suitable

methodology and associated instrumentation to detect CSSV in crude plant extracts. Our approach will

employ paper based detection assays suitable for rapid application that can be used in formats that

enable unskilled personnel to operate them, thereby enabling their widespread deployment in the field.

This will have a significant impact on the economic prospects of cacao farmers in West Africa.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK Limited, SLOUGH £148,339 £ 66,753


WCF Ghana-CocoaAction, Accra £30,378 £ 30,378
University of the West of England, United Kingdom £117,482 £ 117,482


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