Disease affects chilli crop in Udupi

 
Farmers usually grow three crops in a year in the region. After the monsoon, farmers grow different types of crops in the field. Of which, chilly is one among them. In the last few days, in Heroor, Chilly has developed some disease which the farmers have not seen so far. The chilly plant has started withering and the ripe chillies grown have started becoming hollow. The chillies grown in 50 to 60 acre land has been affected with diesease and have become ‘too hot’ for the farmers to digest.

“The chilly plants have just started giving the yield. In this stage, we can not use any insecticides. Most of the plants have started bearing chilly,” said farmers. 

Most of the farmers in this part of the region grow chilly after paddy in the month of January. Most of them grow traditional local variety of chilly. The chilly grown in the region is taken to Brahmavar and Bhatkal for sale. One kg of chilly fetches Rs 100. The chilly grown in this part of the region is very hot.

Farmers who have incurred loss in paddy cultivation this year are also incurring loss in chilly cultivation. “This is the first time we are facing this kind of problem,” said farmers.

None of the farmers are aware of the reason for the withering of the plants. However, farmers feel that owing to the high moisture content, the disease might have cropped up. Farmers have to pay Rs 400 for 10 cents of chilly plantation for the labourers. One has to water the plants for 18 to 20 times till harvest. Labourers have to be paid Rs 75 per day. If the yield is good, then they can fetch profit. “The crop will be spoiled further, if the region gets rain further,” feels farmers.

The horticulture department officials visited Heroor to get first hand information on the disease affecting chilly and termed it as ‘Murda disease,’ The officials said “the disease spreads due to mite infestation. Once the plant is infected with the disease, the whole plant withers along with the chilly, finally causing the death of the plant. There are two types of Murda disease. One spreads through bateria and other through fungus.”

The farmers should destroy the disease affected plants once the disease is noticed, he added.

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