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Investigations underway to find out causes of bitter beans dying out in State

 Imphal Free Press

One-day seminar on ‘Management of Yongchak and Agar’

One-day seminar on ‘Management of Yongchak and Agar’

IMPHAL | Aug 17

Scientists who are investigating the issue with bitter beans dying out in a large scale in the State, expressed that Parkia species has become a major concern as the malady appears to be of complex nature. This was stated during a one-day seminar on ‘Management of Yongchak and Agar’ organised by Forest department, government of Manipur at Imphal Hotel. It was observed that the issue involves insects and fungi; therefore, proper integrated pest and disease management strategies need to be identified after initiate further studies. It was further stated the causative factors need further investigation as the role of Pathogen is inconclusive. While interacting with farmers from different district, the scientists advised of painting the base of the Bitter bean plants with a mixture of Malathion (50 percent) and lime powder in 1: 10 ratio as a safety measures to save the trees till the studies are completed on the causes behind the death of trees and until an effective remedy is identified. While interacting with farmers who took up complaints concerning the dying out of Parkia species, the scientists further uggested that Parkia trees are grown in homestead gardens and low lying areas. It was advised that there should not be stagnation of water near the Parkia tree and the farmers can also lit fire near the tree in the night so that that the insects are attracted to the fire and get killed. Forest minister, Th. Shyamkumar while speaking as the chief guest, stated that the bitter bean which is a popular delicacy in the state is declining due to some from of diseases. Therefore, to meet the demand, Yongchak (bitter bean) is imported from neighbouring countries, though the unique flavour of the State produced bitter bean remains unique, he added. He appealed the farmers to follow the suggestions provided by the expert to prevent diseases. He also mentioned that by using modern methods, bitter beans now take three years to reach maturity, instead of 7 to 10 years which was the usual duration for a bitter bean plant to reach maturity as per traditional practices. Agarwood is the new tree that would help boosting the state economy, he stated. It is best suitable to be grown in Jiribam, Moreh and Kamjong, he further said while suggesting that with the knowledge of experts shared on seminar, jhum cultivation can be controlled in the State as agarwood plantation also can be another source of livelihood for the farmers. Additional chief secretary (forest and environment), Suhel Akhter said that bitter bean and agarwood tree plantation can be a source of economic upliftment of the State. As the market value of the price of agarwood ranges between USD 5,600 to 10,000, it can be a source of economic development.The seminar was attended by representatives of different department and private institute and scientists of the State.