Himachal Pradesh farmers concerned over Yellow Rust disease in Garlic
Shimla, May 9
Farmers in the Rajgarh area of Sirmaur District in Himachal Pradesh are upset about the yellow rust disease in garlic as the crop is about to be harvested at the end of this month.
The botrytis dieback disease is taking a heavy toll on their production and currently, their crops are not getting a fair price. The color of garlic leaves in the fields has turned yellowish, which shows symptoms of yellow rust disease in the garlic crop. This region was once known for ginger production, but due to a similar disease affecting ginger, farmers have switched to large-scale production of garlic, which is now the mainstay of their livelihood. Sirmaur’s garlic is considered the best in quality and taste, which is why there is a large demand for their crop in the country and abroad.
Agriculture expert Dr. Hira Lal Azad said that cash crops like tomatoes, peas, capsicum, and French beans are produced in large quantities in the Rajgarh area besides garlic. The department has advised farmers to spray Difenconazole 25% EC for the treatment of blight disease in Lasuhan and 25 EC or Hexaconazole 5 EC and Butaconazole Fusarium Wilt for yellow rust disease.
Dr. Azad said that blight causes damage to the roots and leaves of garlic, while yellow rust causes the leaves to turn yellow, which causes dust to fall from the leaves when touched. It is necessary to treat this disease from the initial stage. This crop is sown along with Rabi crop, and farmers do not require much effort to take care of it as it normally does not require pesticides and too much fertilizer. The crop gets ready within about 5-6 months. Garlic from Giripar has a heavy demand in the market of South India, and hill garlic is endowed with medicinal properties.
According to the Agriculture Department, garlic is cultivated on four thousand hectares of land in the district, producing an average of 60 to 70 thousand metric tons of garlic every year.
For the last two years, the maximum rate of the crop in the markets of Chennai and Maharashtra has been Rs.120 per kg. Last year, farmers had stored garlic for several months, but when there was no increase in the rate of the crop, they had to sell it at one-fourth of the price.
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