Thrips Parvispinus, an invasive pest species, might have dominated or even replaced the native chilli thrips known as scirtothrips dorsalis, the Rajya Sabha was told on Friday.
According to horticulture officer J Mariyanna, dragon fruit is in good demand and existing farmers are making profits between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per acre per year.
Demanding the State government to pay compensation for damaged chilli crops in the district, farmers, including several women, staged a dharna at Jannaram village under Enkoor mandal.
Small farmers hit by thrips infestation while large farmers who hoarded last year’s stock are making big bucks; medium-grade produce fetching just Rs 8,000/ quintal
On Monday morning, Hanumanthaiah left for his field on the village outskirts and his body was found by farmers in the neighbouring fields, frothing at the mouth.
Bikku had reportedly cultivated red chilli on one and a half acre and paddy on another half-acre of land. The crop of red chilies was infested by Thrips pests and he had since been depressed.
The damage has been so extensive that worried farmers in Warangal districts are ploughing their chilli fields during the harvest stage itself.