Arecanut crop diseased due to heavy rain

Withering tender arecanuts worries farmers at Amritapura hobli in Tarikere taluk.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement is hanging like a sword of Damocles on the arecanut growers. Further, the ban on gutka, GST and import of poor quality of arecanut has affected the growers.

Amid all these problems bothering the growers, the crop is affected with the disease in the taluk owing to heavy rain and has further pushed the growers to devastation. 

Owing to heavy rain, arecaunt trees are hit with the fruit-rot disease. The tender arecanuts have started falling.  The majority of the farmers in Amrutapura and Kasaba hobli have incurred a huge loss. 

Speaking to DH, a grower said, “We are unable to harvest the crop and process it due to rainfall. The rain has taken a toll on the farmers.” 

Earlier, we were spending Rs 10,000 to Rs 13,000 to cultivate arecanut in one-acre land. Now, the cost of production has increased to Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 per acre. The arecanut price has slashed from Rs 36,000 to Rs 30,000 per quintal. The government should set up Arecanut Board to protect the interest of the growers,” said farmers Shekar and Ashok. 

Arecanut is cultivated on 5,794 hectares in Kasaba hobli, 2616 hectare in Lingadahalli hobli, 4207 hectare in Lakkavalli hobli, 2,267 in Ajjampura Hobli and 7021 hectare in Amruthapura Hobli. 

Horticulture department officer Yathiraj said that growers had not taken interest in spraying Bordeaux mixture to prevent the disease.

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