Coimbatore

Pest attack hits jasmine growers in Sathyamangalam

A team from ICAR Krishi Vigyan Kendra, MYDRA, interacts with jasmine growers at a farm at Gobichettipalayam in Erode.

A team from ICAR Krishi Vigyan Kendra, MYDRA, interacts with jasmine growers at a farm at Gobichettipalayam in Erode.   | Photo Credit: Hjandout_e_mail

Pest attack on jasmine by blossom midge has affected farmers in Sathyamangalam and Bhavani Sagar blocks in the district as the infestation reduced the cultivation area by over 1,000 acres in the past one year.

Jasmine is widely cultivated in about 5,000 acres in these two blocks and the flowers are hand-plucked and sold in markets in the state and nearby states and are also exported. However, due to infestation, output declined in the past years and farmers sought the help of ICAR Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), MYDRA at Gobichettipalayam to solve their problem.

A team led by P. Alagesan, Senior Scientist and Head, ICAR KVK-MYRADA, interacted with the farmers who said that the lucrative crop had fetched them good income in the past years as more farmers cultivated the crop making huge investments. “But the pest attack caused extensive damage to the flower resulting in poor yield”, said Nataraj of Siviyarpalayam village. He said that he was earning around ₹ 3 to ₹ 4 lakh per acre annually and due to pest attack, his income dropped to less than ₹ 1 lakh per acre annually now. Infestation of blossom midge happens in the base of the flower buds which gets swollen and the colour changes into pink and drops prematurely.

Muthusamy, president of Sathyamangalam Flower Market Association, said that due to the infestation, flower price dropped by 75%. “Since flowers are in poor quality, very little quantity of flower is exported”, he added. The team suggested spraying of micro nutrients and decided to take up the issue with Director of Extension Education, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University in Coimbatore.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 11:23:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/pest-attack-hits-jasmine-growers-in-sathyamangalam/article32311027.ece

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