Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

IPM Technology help get rid of pests that harm the Coconut crop

Crop loss reduced by 80-90%


IPM Technique | Coconut cultivation is done on a large scale in Goa, apart from other states in South India. It is a vital plantation crop here. Coconut is grown here in an area of ​​25,730 hectares; its average production is 5014 kg per hectare. But despite cultivating coconut on a large scale, the farmers were not profiting. This was mainly due to pests such as the Red Palm Weevil (RPW) and Rhinoceros beetle (RB), which destroy crops.

Production of up to 10 percent less

Insects such as Red Palm Weevil (RPW) and Rhinoceros beetle (RB) are the primary pests of coconut. They cause heavy damage to the crop. Red palm weevils infest about 12 percent of tender coconuts on 5- to 20-year-old trees, preventing fruit development. Whereas due to Rhinoceros beetle (RB) production decreases up to 10 percent.

Pest management on coconut trees is more difficult because they are very tall, and skilled workers cannot climb them. Considering this problem, ICAR – Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute decided to create farmers’ awareness about using IPM (Integrated Pest Management) techniques for pest management.

IPM technology
Image Credit: ICAR – Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute

What is IPM Technology?

It is a pheromone based technique, in which pheromones are used to trap insects. Along with this, other things are also included in it. ICAR – Central Coastal Agriculture Research Institute organized several demonstration and training programs in 2017-2019. It was done to popularize this technology among the farmers of Goa. Farmers were given training and demonstrations about pheromone traps, food baits, trap servicing, lure placement, replacement and identification of weevils and beetles etc.

In addition, 1000 ferro lures and rhino lures were distributed along with bucket traps to 300 farmers. In addition, other techniques associated with IPM such as phyto-sanitization, prophylactic leaf axil treatment, use of entomopathogenic fungi and chemical control were also demonstrated.

IPM technology
Image Credit: ICAR – Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute

Losses reduced by up to 90 percent

After the application of IPM technique, 80-90% reduction in damage caused by Red Palm Weevil (RPW) and Rhinoceros beetle (RB) was observed. Subsequently, pheromone trapping was used extensively. Along with this, other things of IPM technology were also adopted. It lead to a huge reduction in the pest infestation in the coconut plantations. Technical knowledge of the farmers also increased due to repeated training and coaching.

The cost of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) technique comes to Rs.1500 per hectare and the profit from its use can be up to Rs.40,500. Pheromone based IPM technology can be extended to other coastal areas. It need farmer’s cooperation, which will benefit the coconut growers.

IPM technology
Image Credit: ICAR – Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute

Incidence of pests like Red Palm Weevil (RPW) and Rhinoceros beetle (RB) is observed post monsoon i.e. between October and November. In contrast, their impact was minor during the pre and post-monsoon periods from April to June. The highest incidence of Rhinoceros beetle was observed during July and September. Not only this, during the experiments done on the insects caught in the pheromone trap, it was found that more number of them are of female insects.

Also Read: Bio-Pesticides crucial for sustainable agriculture

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