Cassava cultivation in Erode district is at a risk of being affected by papaya mealy bug disease.Commenting on this, Tamil Nadu Small and Micro Farmers Association State President KR Suthanthirarasu said:
Kodumudi, Sivagiri, Modakkurichi, Anthiyur, Bargur and Kadambur hill are the major cassava growing areas in the district.
The crop is grown from March to November-December. One acre of cassava cultivation costs more than Rs 40,000. If there is adequate water and no pest attack, the yieldd would be up to 15 tons.
A ton of cassava sells at a cost of Rs 4,500-6,000. Sago mills will not give more than Rs 4,500 a ton when the harvest is good and supply is high. As a result, farmers face losses.
The crop has grown well due to the availability of water in the current year. But, pest infestation is more prevalent in Kodumudi, Sivagiri and Modakkurichi.
Thus, the yield could be only four to five tons per acre. Horticulture officials did not visit fields due to corona pandemic.
If they come up with a suitable idea, the impact could have been reduced. Therefore, action should be taken to provide adequate compensation to the insured farmers for yield damage.
To save the existing crop, horticulture department officials need to take suitable action, he pleaded.