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Black-headed caterpillar hits coconut

Deccan chronicle

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The caterpillar attack on coconut palms has posed a threat to the farmers, especially in the coastal areas.  The parasite breeding stations across the state have been releasing bio-control agents to protect the yield that declines  during summer. The farmers have approached various Krishi Bhavans and a parasite breeding station  at Parottukonam at  Nalanchira here for steps to control the black-headed caterpillar that eats  coconut leaf.

 An agriculture official told this newspaper that bio-controlling agents are effective in tackling the menace.  “The agriculture department is providing wasps free of cost which would eliminate the larvae of the  caterpillar,” he said. In Kollam district, places like K.S. Puram and Alappat were affected by the attack of ‘white fly’ last year. The agriculture department spent Rs 10 lakh to ward off the attack.

This time, Kollam district is also facing caterpillar attack. “The south-west monsoon may eliminate  the hot spots.  The bio-control agents are goniozus nephantidis and bracon brevicornis, both  wasps parasitising on larvae of the caterpillar,” said a department official in Kollam district. The bio-control agents are available at the parasite breeding centres under the agriculture department as well as at Krishi Bhavans. 

Tags: caterpillarcoconut

Location: IndiaKerala


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