After price crash, ‘Soragu’ attacks pepper

After price crash, ‘Soragu’ attacks pepper

Pepper vines, affected by 'Soragu' disease, in one of the plantations in Napoklu in Kodagu district.

Pepper growers, who have been distraught by the fall in price, are now in distress as the ‘Soragu Roga’ (Bacterial wilt) is affecting the crop.

The pepper vines in most of the plantations in the hobli have started to rot due to excessive rain followed by disease. The pepper leaves have turned yellow in colour and pepper seeds have started to wither. The disease, originating in the stem, gradually spreads to the vines.

Big blow

Even though the pepper crop was good this year, the disease has dealt a big blow to the growers.

The current type of bacterial wilt is spreading faster compared to the disease inflicted by worms.

Control measures

Horticulture department officials have advised the growers to sprinkle 1% bordeaux mixture on pepper vines.

The officials have also told the growers to prepare a solution out of two-kg copper sulphate, two-kg lime and 200 litre water and pour it on the stem.

Pepper growers have expressed their inability in controlling the disease which is spreading at a faster rate in the coffee plantations in Nalkunadu limits.

Monsoon problem

The solution can be sprinkled only in dry weather. Rain has been hindering the process, said coffee grower Bopanna from Pulikotu village.

Another agriculturist Nanaiah from Paluru said the crop loss due to the disease this year was huge. Some growers have huge stock of pepper from last year’s harvest. But they are not in a position to sell it as the market rate has come down drastically, he added.