Fruit rot disease a nightmare for planters in Malnad

Fruit rot disease a nightmare for planters in Malnad

It seems, loss has become an annual affair for the coffee planters in Malnad region. With the coffee plants being destroyed for one or the other reason every year, the planters are a troubled lot.

At a time when the planters are heaving a sigh of relief looking at the increasing price for coffee beans in the market this year, the shock came in the form of fruit rot disease that has been drastically affecting the coffee plantation.

The farmers in Mudigere taluk who had watered coffee plants by spending thousands of rupees through sprinkler irrigation, are disappointed to see the rotten coffee beans. As per the records available with the Coffee Board, the taluk consists of 3,500 hectares of robusta plants and 4,800 hectares of arabica variety. Coffee beans are shedding from plants in Devarunda, Mekanagudde, Bhairapura, Erike, Kottigehara, Urubage regions due to excess rain, while the coffee plants are prone to fruit rot disease in Hanthur, Gonibeedu, Angadi, Balur, Makonahalli regions. The beans have turned brownish in colour and in few places the plants too have turned brown in colour.

The planters are doubtful over the survival of plants in the days to come. About 60 per cent of the plantation has been destroyed in Devarunda, Mekanagadde, Oorubage, Bhairapura regions which have received heavy rain fall. Robusta variety has been severly affected due to the disease.

As the fallen beans and leaves are turning out to be the manure for coffee plants, there are possibilities of berry boroar disease affecting the plants in the coming days.

Though the worried farmers are experimenting to save their plants by pouring all the available fertilisers in the market, they have failed to bring the disease under control.
They are alleging the coffee research centers in the taluk which are not responding to the
problems of the planters.

“Coffee yield will be completely destroyed this season, due to the untimely and uneven rainfall. The research centers should come forward with the methods to protect the plants, if not the crop,” said a farmer Honnekul Manjunath.

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