•      Thu Nov 30 2023

Baglung farmers worry as lemon plants dying due to fungus

Orange farming in Nepal (file photo)

Baglung, Oct 28: Baglung farmers have been worried after their fruiting lemon plants started dying due to a fungus.

Thousands of lemon plants grown by hundreds of farmers started dying since the past two months, said the farmers.

They may incur a loss of thousands of rupees if the disease is not contained timely, they said.

Kumar Pun Magar, information officer for the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Baglung, said the lemon plants started dying when they have been infected with fungus.

The tip of the lemon plant leaves dries up and dies due to the disease. If the farmers cut off the dried plants and throw them away, the plants will be saved, he suggested.

As the disease usually occurs in lemon plants, it can be prevented by taking technical advice, he said. “Fungus cause the lemon branches to die and farmers should also be aware to prevent this. Branches that have started drying up should be cut timely.

The problem has taken place in Nisikhola and surroundings in the district,” he said. Thirty four of the total 60 plants planted by Nar Bahadur Budha Magar of Nisikhola have started dying. The ripe lemon fruits started falling during the time of harvest and the plants died, said Budha Magar.

Even the plants planted last year started dying, he said. He started the lemon cultivation commercially for the past two years, and he would incur a loss of around Rs 200,000 from the damage to the lemon plants.

“There were lemon trees planted six to seven years ago in the garden. At first, the branches of those trees started dying, and later the problem spread to other small plants. If the plants continue to die this way, my investment of thousands of rupees will be lost. How to protect my investment?”

The disease has spread to 70 of 90 plants planted by a local Purna Bahadur Chhetri.

He started cutting all dried branches after they started drying up, said Chhetri. The disease did not appear last year, he said.

Of 45 hectares of land where lemon cultivation has taken place in Baglung district, currently, there is production from 22 hectares, said the Centre. RSS