Pest management scenario in underutilized fruit crops
Worldwide, many agricultural and horticultural crops are available as underutilized; of which, the fruit crops such as, jack, fig, annona, ber, tamarind, West Indian cherry, bael, wood apple, jamun, bread fruit, avocado, star gooseberry, karonda and mulberry are being consumed by the local habitants and have potential for value addition in the near future. These underutilized fruit species afford promising export-oriented opportunities for income generation and an increasing endorsement at national and international level is being given to tap the potential of such valuable plant species with high genetic diversity. Such attention stems out from developments over the last decade that have contributed to change the perception of people regarding the importance of such species and raised the issue on how best to pursue the promotion of underutilized species. However, production of these fruit crops is also being hampered by many pest and diseases which are being less focused. Among the insect pests, the shoot and fruit borer, Margaronia caesalis, is a major pest of jackfruit which alone can cause up to 30% yield loss (Agropedia, 2014). Likewise, the other less utilized fruit crops also suffer from pests like pink mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus in annona, fruit fly, Carpomyia vasuviana, fruit borer, Meridarches scyrodes and leaf roller, Psorostichia zizyphi in ber, shoot and capsule borer, Conogethes punctiferalis in wood apple, fruit fly, Daccus correctus in jamun, scales, Aspidiotus tamarindi in tamarind, leaf webber, Diaphinia pulverulentalis and pink mealybug, M. hirsutus in mulberry and tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis antonii in avocado. Hence, before strategies can be developed to promote the use of these underutilized fruit crops, careful analysis is necessary to monitor and document the precise impacts of pests and their management practices. Also, if it were possible to predict likely flare up of these pests before they evolve in the field, it might be feasible to have strategies to circumvent the problems. With this view, an insight into the pest problems of underutilized fruit crops and the possible ways to overcome their impact is discussed.
Jeyarani, S. and Kowsika, S. (2019). Pest management scenario in underutilized fruit crops. Acta Hortic. 1241, 493-502
genetic diversity,pest management, underutilized fruits, medicinal properties