Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Temperature fluctuation taking its toll on muga seeds

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  31 July 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 29: Climate change has affected many rare species in the world. In a recent development it has started taking its toll on the rare Muga.

A bacterial disease- Flacherie evolving due to temperature fluctuation in the last one month has taken its toll on 60 per cent muga seed crop at Resham gar on the premises of Directorate of Sericulture in the city.

Muga seed crop at farms in Golaghat is also affected by the bacterial disease. However, seeds at the farms in Sivasagar, Lakhimpur and on the foothills of Garo Hills are showing good signs towards maturity.

“It may be called infestation by Flacherie due to frequent fluctuation of temperature. This disease has afflicted the seeds in their second stage when the seeds start shedding first molding off their bodies. We have reared around 1.1 kg at Khapara in the city. We have already given the samples to the Central Silk Board,” Directorate of Sericulture Mukta th Saikia said, while talking to The Sentinel.

“In the last one month the temperature of the city has been fluctuating. If mercury rose to unbearable extent in the day, rains cooled down temperature towards the evening. The seeds cannot tolerate such fluctuation in temperature and fall off from the trees. Their body colour changes in the process. Seeds at farms located on the foothills are doing well as they are being reared in a moderate climate. The health of the seeds is season and region specific. Seeds at farms located in the plains are being affected,” he said.

Saikia, however, maintained that the loss would not affect overall production of Muga. “The loss is not accountable as this is not a commercial crop. Moreover, we are expecting up to 1.70 metric tonnes raw silk in the current year,” he said.

Saikia further said that there are also other factors, including flood that are affecting muga cultivation. “Like every year this year also we have lost a large number of Som and Sualo trees. Tea gardens’ location near muga farms in the state is another reason which affects cultivation. The odour of pesticides used in the tea gardens hampers the seed’s health. Sometimes pests fly away from tea gardens to the Som and Sualo trees in the farms where muga seeds are reared. These pests are harmful for the seeds. Gas coming out of OIL and ONGC plants affects som trees in Muga farms which in turn hampers Muga cultivation,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that last year due to infection of another bacterial disease, Pebrine, overall Muga commercial crop production was down by 10 MT. Pebrine was caused by air pollution and fluctuation of temperature.

Next Story