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Warning Issued by Department of Export Agriculture on Pepper Root Disease Threatening Cultivations

March 13, Colombo (LNW):The Department of Export Agriculture (DEA) has alerted farmers to the imminent risk of a fungal disease posing a threat to pepper cultivation in Sri Lanka. In a discussion held at the Ministry of Plantation Industry under the guidance of Agriculture and Plantation Industry Minister Mahinda Amaraweera on the morning of the 12th, DEA officials revealed the presence of a root-damaging fungal disease affecting pepper vines.

Known as ‘Quick wilt and slow wilt,’ these diseases result from the fungus Phytophthora Capsici, which attacks the root system of pepper vines. The consequence of root rot is the wilting and eventual death of pepper vine leaves, as the vine fails to receive adequate water and nutrition.

The spread of this disease is further exacerbated by the damage caused by the stem-boring gull. Reports indicate that all areas related to pepper cultivation in the country are currently experiencing the effects of these diseases, leading to the complete destruction of approximately 200 acres of pepper cultivation. The DEA emphasizes the heightened risk of rapid disease spread due to the prevailing hot and dry weather conditions.

To combat these diseases, the DEA recommends the use of anti-fungal agents containing 64 percent Mancozeb and 08 percent Metalaxin. Fungicides such as Ribomil, Redoxil, and Radon are cited as suitable for controlling the condition.

Despite a high yield reported during this Maha Season in pepper cultivation, the DEA underscores the potential threat to pepper pods due to root rot caused by the fungal infection around the pepper root system. The Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries urges farmers to take preventive measures, including the burning and destruction of diseased pepper vines and the application of recommended chemicals to control the spread of this damaging disease.

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