Farmers cultivating cardamom in Ramechhap are worried due to a disease that is destroying their crops.

The disease has affected the overall cardamom production in the district this year. At first, the disease causes the leaves of the cardamom plant to develop small patches, and gradually the entire plant starts wilting and dies.

According to farmer Jhapad Bhandari of Priti, Umadunda-5, farmers have suffered a loss of tens of millions of rupees due to the disease this year.

"It's due to the disease that cardamom production this year has halved, compared to last year," he said.

The disease had first seen in neighbouring Solukhumbu district. By now, it has spread to most wards of Umakunda Rural Municipality.

In Ramechhap, cardamom is cultivated in places like Chuchure, Bamti, Kubhukasthali, Priti, Bhuji, Gupteshwor and Gumdel.

Farmers here had taken up commercial farming of cardamom just a couple of years ago, though it's been over a decade since farmers started cultivating it in the district.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 13, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.