Dieback disease leading to destruction of citrus orchards in Champawat
Pithoragarh, April 24
Outbreak of dieback disease, effects of weather change and soil erosion has started affecting the citrus species orchards in Champawat district. The scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra of the district warned that due to dieback disease, the citrus trees have shown tendency to decay in 5 years time in place of 30 years which is the usual age of the citrus trees. .
“Due to spread of dieback disease in some parts of the district in citrus plants, not only the plants are dying much before time but also the quantity and quality of fruits has started deteriorating ,” said Dr Bhupendra Singh Kharayat a plant protection scientists with KVK, Champawat.
According to Dr Kharayat, due to speedy weather change and loss of 5 cm top soil to sharp rains, the essential nutrients of plants are washing away and plants have reached in condition of decay in 5 years time from the date of plantation.”The shortage of nitrogen and Zink is found in these plants since these have been washed away due to soil erosion of top 5 cm soil of the surface, ” said Dr Kharayat.
According to the agricultural scientists, the dieback dieses is caused by combination of factors, including disease, pathogen ,lack of nutrients and stressful climatic conditions.” The disease results into gradual deterioration of health of the tree leading to its death.”The farmers in the district are habitual of providing nutrients and manure to vegetables plants but they neglect fruit plants, that is resulting into destruction of these plants triggered by weather change.” said the KVK scientists.
According to district horticulture officer TN Pandey, the citrus plants, that were in 2700 hectare land,in the district 5 years ago, are now left only in 2226 hectares of land.