Central team visits Koppa to study areca problems

The central team led by Dr Gorak Singh inspecting the arecanut plantation affected by yellow leaf disease, at Kombatti in Koppa taluk. dh photo

The life in Malnad is dependent on arecanut. However, owing to the yellow leaf disease affecting arecant, farmers are losing their livelihood. Many have taken extreme step to end their lives. Some have even migrated from the region. These issues were brought to the notice of the team.

Farmer leaders said the alternative crop to arecanut—Vanilla too has been destroyed due to Soragu disease in the district. There is no good yield from coffee. Growers are unable to repay the loan. Arecanut growers have spent Rs 8 lakh to grow arecanut in one acre land. However, owing to the yellow leaf disease, the yield is very poor.  They said government should provide compensation to the arecanut plantations affected with the disease and provide financial assistance to grow alternative crops. “In my eight acre plantation, I was getting 120 quintal arecanut once upon a time. Now I do not even get one fourth of it,” said Ganapathy Bhat of Doddahonne with tears in his eyes.

“Arecanut crop is getting destroyed in front of my eyes. Coffee can not be grown. What will be my condition. I believe you,” he added.

All the arecanut trees were green till January. However, later it started changing its colour to yellow. The size and weight of the arecanut too started to reduce drastically owing to the yellow leaf disease, the growers told the team.

Manjunath of Pura village in Heroor said arecanuts have been lost due to the diseases. Now, even banana plantation is not successful owing to the monkey menace. Arecanut Research Centre of Theerthahalli Researcher Zaheer gave scientific inputs to the Team.

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