Current Affairs

Eriophyid mite infestation found in amaranthus

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    4th May, 2021

Context

A team of researchers in Kasaragod has found Eriophyid mite, which damages amaranthus (red cheera), a common leafy vegetable cultivated all over the country.

About the Eriophyid mite infestation

  • Eriophyid mites were reported in Tanzania in 1992, it is the first report of the mite infestation in amaranth in the country.
  • The mite causes severe malformation of the shoot, making it fibrous and reducing the yield.
  • The extensive cultivation of amaranth was a common in the coastal areas of Kanhangad in Kasaragod district from October to the second week of June.
  • These plants showed crinkling deformity and malformation of tender leaves, a severe reduction in the leaf size and stunting.
  • Besides, farmers also found difficulty in harvesting.
  • As a result, the number of periodical tender shoot harvests from April to June was reduced by 50 per cent.
  • The farmers were severely affected as the produce fetched a very low price. He said an observation trial to contain the pest immediately after a harvest reduced the mite damage symptoms almost completely for at least 15 days when the new shoots would be ready for the next harvest, he claimed.

Amaranthus 

  • It is a cosmopolitan genus of annual or short-lived perennial plants collectively known as amaranths.
  • Some amaranth species are cultivated as leaf vegetables, pseudocereals, and ornamental plants.
  • Most of the Amaranthus species are summer annual weeds and are commonly referred to as pigweeds.