A strategic approach to combatting Diseases in Ginger Cultivation

Ginger is an herbaceous perennial, which grows annual pseudo stems of about one meter tall bearing narrow leaf blades. The Economical part known as Rhizomes (Seed Setts) is used as a spice. 

Ginger can be harvested as young baby ginger after 3 to 4 months of transplanting. Typically, ginger takes 8 – 10 months to produce mature rhizomes after planted from setts. India is a leading & largest producer of ginger in the world and it holds the seventh position in ginger export worldwide. In 2020, global production of ginger was 4.3 million tonnes, led by India with 43% of the world total production.

Major diseases of Ginger crop and their management

1. Soft Rot Disease

The infection starts at the collar region of the pseudo stems and progresses upwards as well as downwards. 

The collar region of the affected pseudo stem becomes water soaked and the rotting spreads to the rhizome resulting in soft rot.

Management of Soft Rot : 

  • Drench the Root zone with  Roko @ 2-2.5 gm/litre water or Profiler @ 2 gm/ litre water.  
  • Seed Treatment with Captan 50% WP or Carbendazim 50% WP  @ 2-5 gm/ kg Rhizomes or with Trichoderma viridae 20-25 gm/kg Rhizomes.

2. Bacterial Wilt Disease:  

The most prominent symptom is mild drooping and curling of leaf margins of the lower leaves which spreads upwards.  Yellowing starts from the lowermost leaves and gradually progresses to the upper leaves.  The affected pseudo stem and rhizome when pressed gently extrudes milky ooze from the vascular strands.

Management of Bacterial wilt : 

  • Seed rhizomes must be chosen from disease-free gardens.
  •  Use Streptomycin + Tetracycline sulphate @ 6 gm/30-50 litres along with Bactericide or Copper Oxy chloride 50% WP @ 2-2.5 gm/litre Water.

3. Leaf spot diseases : 

 The disease starts as a water soaked spot and later turns as a white spot surrounded by dark brown margins and yellow halo.

The disease gets  severe at underexposed conditions immediately after rain. 

Management of Leaf spot : 

  • Foliar Application of Kavach @ 2 gm/litre Water or Amistar Top @ 1-1.25 ml/litre water or Nativo @ 0.5 gm/litre Water.

Precautions for Management of Disease in Ginger 

  • IPM – Soil solarization of the field, during the summer for a period of 20-30 days after deep ploughing of the land i.e, direct exposure of the sunlight on the field to eradicate most of the soil borne diseases. 
  • Use disease-free, healthy rhizome for planting/sowing.
  • Seed treatment – Hot water treatment of rhizome at 50-52°C for 30 min. followed by treatment of the rhizome with Trichoderma viride @ 8-10 gm/kg seed. 
  • Do not grow ginger in the same field for more than 3 years. 
  • Suitable intercrop with maize, soybean, French bean, cowpea, and chilli may be practiced.
  • Rotation of ginger crop with non-host crops like rice, wheat, maize or green manure crops.
  • Keep the field weed free. 
  • Avoid water-logging in the ginger field.
  • After every weeding, earthing up should be done. No rhizome should be exposed to directly to sun shine. 

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