On a recent visit, our correspondent saw the leaves of the chili plants have shrunk due to the pest attack
A large number of green chili growers in Manikganj district are facing difficulties as a vast land growing the plants have been attacked with pests recently, threatening the yield.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), the pest attack has spread drastically in many villages of three upazilas, namely Sadar, Shibaloy, and Harirampur.
The villages under pest attack are Ukiyara, Ranadia, Goshainagar, Bishwanathpur and Bangola of Sadar upazila , Shimulia, Bejpara, Mahadevpur, Borongail and Mushuria of Shibaloy upazila and Jhitka, Chala, Gala, and Balla of Harirampur upazila.
On a recent visit, our correspondent saw the leaves of the chili plants have shrunk due to the pest attack, damaging the plants partially or completely. Later, he spoke to several farmers who were frustrated at the prospect of incurring heavy losses due to the pest attack.
Farmer Ali Ahmed of Borongail village of Shibaloy upazila said that he cultivated green chili on 85 decimals of land after the rainy season. The pest attack has shrunk the leaves of the chili plants, affecting the whole plant. In the last 15 days, at least 25 percent of the land has been damaged due to the disease, adding, "We have used pesticides according to the advice of agriculture officer, but to no avail."
Another farmer, Latif Mia of Ranadia village of Sadar upazila, said he cultivated chili on 25 percent of his total land. In the last 15 days, pests have started attacking his plants.. He invested Tk12,000 to cultivate green chili. However, this year, he will incur loss due to the disease.
“Last year, I was able to sell TK 50,000 worth of chilis in the market," he reminisced.
Manikganj Department of Agriculture Extension(DAE) Deputy Director Md Habibur Rahman Chowdhury said: "At least 600 hectares of land have been cultivated for growing high-yielding green chili. Every year, virus attacks shrink the leaves of chili. However, this year, the extent of pest attack is quite high."
He advised farmers to bury the affected plants under soil after wrapping them up with polythenes so that the disease cannot attack the other healthy plants, or to uproot the affected plants completely and plant new saplings if the extent of the disease is high.
He further stated that farmers were told several times not to cultivate the same crops on the same land again and again, which increases the risk of virus attack.