Fungicide that controls club-root disease

Kathmandu, August 25:

The Plant Pathology Division of the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) has found that a fungicide made in Japan can control club-root disease, which has been plaguing cauliflower farming for 15 years.

According to a senior scientist at the Plant Pathology Division, Dr Ram Devi Timila, several tests were conducted in Bhaktapur district and Daman and Palung of Makwanpur district, where the disease has affected cauliflower farming the most. These tests proved that Nebijin controls club-root disease, Timila said.

Nebijin, which contains an active ingredient called Flusulfamide 0.3 DP, is a fungicide manufactured by the Mitsui Company of Japan. Timila, however, said that the use of chemicals should be discouraged as they can have adverse effects on human and animal health.

“Chemicals can be used when there is no other alternative,” Timila said, adding that there are no alternative ways to control club-root disease.

The residue of the fungicide remains in the soil for around one month, Timila said. The use of Nebijin not only controls the disease, but also helps cauliflowers grow. The fungicide, however, is not available in the Nepali market. Timila said that the fungicide can cost much less if it is manufactured in Nepal by importing essential ingredients.

The fungicide can be a boon for farmers involved in commercial farming of cauliflower, cabbage and spinach. A fungus called Plasmodiophora brassicae causes the disease.

Rotation of crops can lessen the effect of club-root disease, but this method cannot wipe out the disease.