Damage coconut farms

India: Measures to prevent spread root-wilt disease

Inter-crop farming and planting disease-resistant varieties are among the strategies the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research is adopting to counter root wilt disease which has been causing wide damage in coconut farms.

P. Chowdappa, Director, ICAR-CPCRI, said the strategy, involving a cropping system with participatory technology transfer, had helped restrict the spread of the disease, besides ensuring better yield in demonstration fields.

The productivity level of 150-200 nuts per coconut tree per annum could be achieved through upgrading management practices and technologies.

Adoption of inter-crop pattern with the use of new varieties of coconut palms was demonstrated successfully in Bharanikkavu panchayat. Black pepper, nutmeg, banana, pineapple, and tuber crops were cultivated as inter-crops.

Systematic evaluation trials at ICAR-CPCRI regional station at Kayamkulam have resulted in the release of three varieties of coconuts, Kalparaksha, Kalpasree and Kalpasankara, with resistance or tolerance to the disease, he said.

The disease has spread to eight southern districts of Kerala, from Thiruvanathapuram to Thrissur and in isolated patches in the remaining six districts of the State.

The annual loss due to the disease has been estimated at 968 million nuts and the monetary loss at Rs.3,000 million.

(1 Indian Rupee= 0.015 USD)

Source: thehindu.com

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