Disease affects arecanut, coffee, pepper in Sringeri

Disease affects arecanut, coffee, pepper in Sringeri

Coffee berries have fallen due to the increase in the moisture content in Sringeri taluk.

Owing to heavy rainfall prevailing in the Malnad region for the last one month, the fruit rot disease — locally known as koleroga — has affected the arecanut and black pepper vines here.

Normally, Sringeri taluk receives an average of 120 to 140 inches of rainfall in a year. However, this year, the taluk has received 133 inches of rainfall from January till August 1. In 2017, the taluk had received only 66 inches rainfall till August.

Owing to heavy rain, arecanut growers could not spray Copper sulphate mixture to the arecanut during the first week of June. Only 40% of growers have taken up spraying. As a result, about 60% of the farmers are facing the threat of kole roga.

A few farmers have already started experiencing premature dropping of affected flowers, nuts, and rotting of arecanut fruits. Growers fear that there is a possibility of the spreading of disease from one farm to another.

Even coffee has been affected by heavy rain. About 30% of the berries have started dropping. About 25% of coffee plants are suffering from excessive moisture content.

Black pepper vines are affected with “soragu roga” at Paniyooru and Karimunda areas.

Coffee Board Extension Officer N S Devaraj said, “Once the rain stops, the growers should apply urea to coffee plants. In addition, bordeaux mixture should be sprayed to the plants. Crops get damaged during natural calamities. Already 10% of the coffee has been damaged in the taluk.”

Progressive farmer Kalkuli Vittal Hegde said, “Due to heavy rainfall, the farmers could not take precautionary measures to check the disease affecting arecanut. This year, we cannot expect any profit from plantation crops. The government should come to the rescue of the growers.”

Horticulture Department Assistant Director Sri Krishna said, “Horticulture crops are cultivated on 2,700 hectares of land in Sringeri taluk. Due to heavy rainfall, the koleroga, soragu roga affecting the plants could not be checked.”

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