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Posted at: Jun 24, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: Jun 24, 2019, 10:44 AM (IST)

Fungal disease affects apple in Shimla, Mandi

Scientists ask farmers to use anti-scab sprays
Fungal disease affects apple in Shimla, Mandi

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 23

The deadly apple scab, a fungal disease, has broken out in several orchards in Kharapathar, Deorighat-Chunjar and Snab in Jubbal and Kotkhai area, Janjehli and Thunag in the home segment of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and parts of Kullu districts, creating panic among farmers. Scientists have asked farmers to resort to anti-scab sprays to prevent its spread.

A team of three horticulture officials - Dr SD Sharma, Dr Yashwant Baginta and Pankaj Dhanta - inspected 22 orchards in Chunjar, Deorighat, Kharapather and Snaba on June 21 and detected the apple scab on the fruit and leaves.

“Apple scab has been detected on both fruit and leaves. We visited and inspected 22 orchards and found up to 50 per cent of incidence of scab,” they observed and reported the matter to the Director of Horticulture Department on Saturday.

The detection of scab outbreak after 33 years has come as a chilling reminder which had destroyed the apple economy for two years. “It was controlled by an all-out joint vigorous anti-scab campaign launched by farmers, scientists and horticulture officials. We need the same effort this time as well,” said Harish Chauhan, president, HP Fruit Vegetable and Flowers Association.

He said they met field officials and the Director, Horticulture, demanding adequate supply of anti-scab fungicides. The farmers also needed anti-fungal sprays at cheaper rates, he cautioned.

The scab has broken out in many orchards in Janjehli, said Bodh Raj Thakur, an orchardist. “So far, no team of scientists has visited here,” he added.

Dr Vijay Thakur, Director, extension, Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, who was former vice-chancellor, said, “There is no need for panic as scab is a well-controlled disease. It has been showing signs of revival in Chunjar, Janjehli and Thunag over the years. The farmers should resort to spray of best chemicals of ‘dodine’, ‘contaf’ and ‘score’ that control it The spray should be repeated after 10-12 days to prevent its spread,” he added.

Director, Horticulture, Dr ML Dhiman said he had sought comprehensive reports from the apple belt of Shimla, Mandi, Kullu and other places.

Worst-affected areas

  • The deadly apple scab has broken out in Kharapathar, Deorighat-Chunjar and Snab in Jubbal and Kotkhai
  • Janjehli and Thunag in the home segment of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and parts of Kullu districts
  • The detection of scab outbreak in the apple belt after 33 years has come as a chilling reminder which had destroyed the apple economy for two years

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