The Cardamom Research Station at Pampadumpara is taking measures to reduce the use of chemical pesticides in cardamom plantations and promote eco-friendly methods with a view to protecting the soil. Scientists have noticed that unscientific spraying of pesticides had resulted in low production and high level of plants decay, said Kuriakose K.P., head of the cardamom station.
The research station has developed bio-control measures to counter fungal diseases affecting the plants. Biological control of the fungus and insect attacks are done with bio-fungus, developed by it with the support of the State Horticulture Mission.
The bio-fungus found effective in controlling the attacks are Metarisium, a better control for the root grub affecting cardamom plants;
Beuveria, a genus of the asexually-reproducing fungi allied with the ascomycota family; Verticillium, a genus of fungi in the category of
Ascomycota; and Drycoderma, an antidepresent fungi.
It has been noticed that diseases affecting the roots of the plants increase and the fungus can be controlled with bio-control measures, he said.
The research centre is conducting a campaign among cardamom farmers on the application of bio-control measures against chemical pesticide application. For details, contact phone 04868 236263.