Last year, we had good harvest. But the prices were very low. This year the price of arecanut is encouraging. However, trees have been affected with disease,” said Arecanut grower Ramanna.
The growers were happy with the steep rise in the price of arecanut in the market. They had even dreamt of paying back all their loans. However, now they are thinking of their livelihood. They urged the government to give one year concession to repay the loan to the banks. “Owing to the disease, the arecanut have started falling. If we collect the fallen arecanut and dry, then we will not get good price owing to the poor quality. On the one hand, we are suffering from the shortage of labourers and on the other, the wages have also increased,” said another grower.
“The main reason for the Crownrat disease is that the growers have failed to maintain the distance between the plants. As a result, plants do not get enough sun light. The unseasonal rains, cloudy weather also increased the moisture content, causing the disease,” said Horticulture department Senior Assistant Director Siddaraju.
The disease was noticed in the region for the last 15 days. The affected trees get dried within a week and dies. The disease was found only in Bukkambudi in Tarikere taluk. There are all chances of disease spreading to the neighbouring villages,” fears arecanut growers.
As soon as the symptom of the disease is noticed, growers should spray Rodamil mixed in one litre water in the ratio of 3 ml. Growers should reduce the moisture content in the plantation by constructing canals in the estate. At the same time, enough care should be taken to see that the distance is maintained while planting,” says Horticulture department officials.