India RegionCrop Protection

‘Kolshi’ continues to affect Vidarbha’s Orange crop cultivation (Citrus Black Fly)

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20 December 2022, New Delhi: A total of 1,50,000 hectares of land in the Vidarbha region is planted with oranges, and of them, 25% are seriously damaged by Kolshi, a citrus black fly disease.

Kolshi is a disease caused by a black fly which is a sucking pest. It belongs to the category of aphids. Its scientific name is Aleurocanthus woglumi.

Both nymphs and adults suck cell sap and secrete voluminous honeydew on which sooty mold grows wildly that leads to fungal manifestation (Capnodium sp.) locally called ‘Kolshi’, covering the entire plant due to which photosynthesis is affected.

Plants are devitalized due to the excessive sucking of sap and in severe cases, the fruit-bearing capacity of the tree is also affected. Fruits are rendered insipid in taste and blackened due to black sooty mold. The farmer’s attempts to spray insecticides on the fruit and tree do not help to cure this disease because the liquid cannot penetrate the black layer.

Kolshi primarily affects orchards with heavy cotton soil or farmers who haven’t adhered to recommended management procedures.

Kolshi was first seen in Vidarbha during the last monsoon season. Due to their light soil and good management techniques, 75% of the farmers were able to control the illness. Unfortunately, 25% will be producing fruit with extremely poor quality.

According to these farmers, the market’s average wholesale price for oranges is approximately Rs. 25 per kilogram or Rs. 25,000 per tonne. But because their fruit has been severely harmed, they are expecting to receive half the price.

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