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Big Island coffee beans could be quarantined to fight pest

KAILUA-KONA, — Authorities would have to quarantine Big Island coffee beans if state and federal officials don’t find the coffee berry borer pest on other islands in the state.

State Department of Agriculture Plant Industry Division Administrator Lyle Wong says a quarantine would mean growers would have to follow quarantine rules regarding treatment of the beans.

West Hawaii Today reported Wong said Monday growers wouldn’t be prohibited from shipping their beans to other islands.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month confirmed the pest native to central Africa has been found in several coffee farms in Kona.

The bug has been known to kill off about 20 percent of coffee crops in other parts of the world.

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