1. Agriculture World

Invasive Pests Poses Threat to Chilli Farmers in AP & Telangana

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Chilli Farmers in AP & Telangana

The Rashtriya Kisan Progressive Association (RKPA) has urged chilli producers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to unite together and oppose regulators who are suppressing quality agri-input, as well as to encourage the use of modern agri-tech practices to combat invasive pests such as 'Thripsparvispinus.' 

The RKPA has also appealed to the Chief Ministers and administrators of the two Telugu states to form a committee and a rapid response team to help farmers, even as the Association itself launched a mass campaign to educate and engage public representatives, anti-technology, and anti-development forces. 

The new invasive pest 'Thripsparvispinus' has had a significant impact on the red chilli crop in certain districts of both states by affecting the plants during the blooming stage and stunting their growth. Heavy rains in recent months have exacerbated the situation. 

With farmers concerned that crop yields may suffer as a result of the pest, RKPA, a consortium of national progressive farmers' organizations with a presence in 16 states and 1.37 lakh farmer members, stated, "The solution lies in the use of the right agri-inputs like seeds, fertilizer, and appropriate pesticides in appropriate quantities." 

Farmers are facing twin problems of spurious pesticides, as well as a lack of awareness regarding proper usage of agrochemicals. 

"In addition to quality and quantity, the timing of pesticide application is critical for good crop development and control of Thrips parvispinus." The use of modern technologies such as drones, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) will aid in the uniform spraying of pesticides, according to the RKPA. 

According to RKPA estimates, Andhra Pradesh (43.5%) and Telangana (23.5%) account for more than 67 percent of the country's chilli production. 

The new pest was discovered in early 2020 and has been on the rise since October 2021, with both adults and young ones feeding on the ovaries of the flowers, rendering them unsuitable for fruiting and causing significant flower drop and losses. 

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