TAMIL NADU

Steps sought to combat bug in papaya

Coimbatore: The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has advised farmers to take up integrated pest management measures to prevent the spread of papaya mealy bug, as the disease is likely to assume ‘serious proportions' if left unchecked.

“The incidence of the mealy bug in papaya, which is moderate at present, is likely to escalate if left unchecked,” TNAU Vice-Chancellor P. Murugesa Bhoopathi, said and asked farmers to take up integrated pest management (IPM) measures on a war footing.

E.I. Jonathan, Director, Centre for Plant Protection studies, TNAU, said mealy bug was a polyphagous sucking pest infesting crops like cotton, papaya, tapioca, mulberry and jatropha.

Prevailing high temperature, low relative humidity, dry wind without rain had led to increased incidence of the pest, he said — PTI