THE Indian Spices Board has said incidences of rot disease in cardamom plantations in Kerala’s Idukki district should not raise undue concern.
Fungal diseases were common during the monsoon season and the severity was a bit more than usual but not to alarming levels, the board said.
Unlike previous years, the cardamom tracts in Idukki district are still experiencing continuous rains this year. As a result, the relative humidity was high which was conducive for the multiplication of fungal pathogens causing rotting of capsules and pseudostems. In plantations where prophylactic spraying of 1% Bordeaux Mixture was adopted during May and June, the incidence of fungal disease was not common, the board noted.
However, many farmers could not adopt this measure as, in an unprecedented situation, there had been no dry spell after the onset of monsoon. The incidence of the rot disease was more prevalent in swampy areas where there was stagnation of water and less drainage.
Field officers of the Spices Board were regularly conducting meetings and campaigns and educating the farmers to adopt necessary control measures against fungal diseases and to avoid further spread.
The crop loss due to rot disease was estimated at 7.8% in 2011/12 in Nedumkandam Region.