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Rs. 1 cr. disbursed for stem-borer collection

By Our Staff Correspondent

HASSAN, AUG. 19. The Coffee Board has disbursed Rs. 1 crore to coffee growers of Hassan, Chikmagalur, and Kodagu districts during the year for collecting the white stem-borer that affected the Arabica variety in the Malnad belt.

The Deputy Director of Coffee Board, B.P. Balakrishna, in a press release here on Thursday, said that as part of the effort to control the menace, the board had announced that it would reward growers who collected the borer. The growers had received Rs. 20.56 lakhs as against Rs. 40.88 lakhs disbursed last year for collecting the pest, he said.

Plants uprooted

Mr. Balakrishna pointed out that the board had paid Rs. 2 for an adult borer during the year, as against Rs. 5 last year. The number of pests collected during the year was 12,95,370 as against 21,24,486 last year. As many as 4,68,206 borer affected plants had been uprooted and burnt as against 7,94,416 plants last year, he said. The collection of white stem-borer would be taken up in October, he said.

Growers in the three districts had begun uprooting and setting fire to the plants affected by stem borer. Nearly 20 per cent of the area under the Arabica variety had been affected because of dry weather and poor rainfall. Most of the Arabica plantation had been affected by the peculiar weather condition and poor maintenance, he said.

Incentives

The Coffee Board had taken steps to control the problem. It had conducted workshops for growers in the area. However, the strategy should be to adopt integrated management programmes and create conditions unfavourable to the pest. The board had offered incentives to growers who collected eggs, larvae, and adult stem borer with a view to encouraging them to control the menace he said.

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