Disease affecting coffee plants worry growers

If growers fail to pluck fruits, Kai Koraka roga may hit the crops

Normally, heavy rainfall affects the coffee with ‘koleroga.’ However, this year, the change in rain pattern will affect the coffee production.

Owing to the untimely rainfall during January and February, the coffee started flowering.

With the region receiving rainfall in June, the coffee plants started flowering and bearing fruit. The fruit which sprouted during February have started maturing. If the growers fail to pluck the fruit, then it may cause ‘Kai Koraka roga.’ The insects eat the fruit. If the coffee beans affected with ‘Kai Koraka’ disease is used for pulping, then the growers will incur loss by not getting the expected yield. The big buds which have matured as a result of the January rain are pushing out those which blossomed in March and April, which are no larger than pepper corns.

In the meantime, the untimely matured fruit could not be plucked due to the shortage of labourers. The shortage of labourers has also affected the trimming of the trees in the estate. As a result, the increasing shade has resulted in rain water getting collected in one particular place, thus affecting the coffee with ‘koleroga’ disease. Owing to the ‘koleroga,’ coffee leaves have started withering. With the withering of the leaves, coffee fruit has started falling.

Somwarpet taluk did not receive an adequate rainfall. The rains in Shanthalli, Tholurshettalli, Koothi, Doddatholur, Kundalli, Beedalli, Bettadalli and surrounding villages were not complementing the coffee production this year. As a result, coffee beans have started withering.

The ‘Koleroga’ has affected coffee in Kiragandoor and Thakeri villages.  In many places, several coffee growers had trimmed the trees. However, with the decline in rainfall, the moisture content in the estate also reduced, accordingly several coffee plants have died.
“In condition of deficit rainfall, maturity of the fruit is hastened. The density of the beans may be lower. The percentage of higher grades is likely to drop,” says the growers.

There is problem of white borer disease affecting the plant during September and October. If the plant dies, then the growers will have to wait for another four years to get another plant. The ‘Kanda Koraka’ disease is affecting coffee for the last one decade. Inspite of spraying pesticides, the disease could not be controlled.  

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