Coconut disease

Published: Wednesday 15 December 1999

Widespread mite attacks are th

the Kerala government has requested the Centre to provide at least half of the estimated Rs 87 crore needed to fight and control widespread mite attack that is threatening to wipe out coconut holdings in the central and southern regions of the state.

According to reports, around 223.3 million coconut trees have been afflicted by the rare disease. The resultant fall in production will have grave implications on the fragile coconut-based farm economy in the state. Experts have suggested that the crown of each tree must be sprayed with prescribed pesticides thrice daily to ensure that it is completely rid of the pest. This entails a huge financial investment. It has been estimated that one-time spraying of the crown itself will cost Rs 29.04 crore, which translates into Rs 87.15 crore for three rounds of spraying. This according to the state government is much beyond what the state can afford.

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