ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Crop loss in rubber due to abnormal leaf fall: an analysis on the economic feasibility of plant protection measures in India
 
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Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam 686 009, Kerala, India
 
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2005;45(4):235–248
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ABSTRACT:
The paper attempts to assess the extent of crop loss in rubber plantations in India, measured in terms of loss in latex and timber output and thereby to examine the comparative economics of plant protection measures against Phytophtora spp. induced abnormal leaf fall (ALF). The specific objectives were: a) to examine the extent of loss in latex and timber output in unsprayed plots vis-a-vis sprayed plots across prominent rubber clones; b) estimate the value of loss in latex and timber output across clones between sprayed and unsprayed plots; c) examine the comparative economics of plant protection measures in terms of the incremental costs and the incremental returns from sprayed plots across clones; and d) reflect upon the policy imperatives with respect to region specific Research and Development (R&D) interventions on plant protection measures in India. The study brings out significant clonal differences in loss of latex and timber output in the absence of prophylactic spraying against ALF. The observed clonal differences with respect to feasibility of plant disease control measures indicate the need for region and clone-specific recommendations for plant protection measures in India instead of the currently followed unilateral prescription with due allowance to the costs and potential benefit accrued from the control measures. The study also highlight the need for evolving interventions and agro-management/ plant protection measures for minimising the incidence of tree casualty in rubber plantation, as it amounts to loss of potential income from latex and timber from rubber plantations in India, dominated by the smallholder sector
CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Pozhamkandath K. Viswanathan
Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam 686 009, Kerala, India
 
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