3 views 2 mins 0 Comment

Famed Dharmapuri mangoes in TN to turn costlier as pests destroy crops

- May 10, 2022

Chennai, May 10 (BPNS)

Dharmapuri mangoes in Tamil Nadu are famed across South India for their taste and size and is one of the most cherished product from the state that is sold across. However, the horticulture department and the farmers of Dharmapuri are worried as the production is hit following pest attack and the shortage of the fruit will lead to increase in prices.

Farmers said that the prices are yet to be fixed but it will be anywhere more than 20 to 30 percent than the previous years, given the damage suffered by the pest attack.

The district has a total of 15000 hectares under mango cultivation and according to farmers, the yield was around 10 tonne of mangoes for each hectare.

K. Krishnamoorthy, a mango farmer at Dharmapuri while speaking to BPNS said, “ The production of mangoes was around 1.5 lakh metric tonne from the 15000 hectares of cultivation. However this year pests have ravaged the crop and we don’t expect half the produce and this will lead to a hike in prices.”

Horticulture department sources told BPNS that two insects, leafhopper and Thrips have destroyed the mango crop by half in the current season at Dharmapuri.

The officials said that these pets eat away the leaves from new branches and curtail the process of photosynthesis thus affecting the production of mangoes.

The state horticulture department has already invited plant scientists, pathologists, and entomologists to investigate and suggest countermeasures and some scientists have given a list of recommendations for farmers to overcome the situation.

Sources in the horticulture department told BPNS that the farmers had not taken any control measures earlier to get rid of the pest attack and the suggestions given by the scientists would be now implemented leading to the prevention of any further attack by leafhoppers and thrips, the two pests that have caused extensive damage to mango crop in Dharmapuri area.

The department sources also said that renowned plant pathologist,Dr. S.K. Manoranjitham and noted entomologist, Dr. T. Elayiharathi had been to Dharmapuri mango plantations and given suggestions to the department and farmers to counter the pest attack.