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Visiting plant expert alarmed about papayas

by Mario Grey, Cayman27, 26 Oct 2016

October 26, 2016

Visiting plant expert at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture conference Winston Scott said after visiting Lower Valley and North Side he has observed infection of tomatoes and hot peppers but his main concern lies with the papayas.

"I have not seen a good papaya field yet because it's been heavily affected by what you call the bunchy top virus which is transmitted by a leaf hopper, the plant will grow up very nice, very lush, very green as soon as it reaches a reproductive stage and the leaf hopper starts feeding on it, feed on a viral plant then feed on that plant then you find it comes down with a leaf virus,"

Mr. Scott who is from AG-CHEM Plant Limited in Kingston, Jamaica said what alarms him about local crops are the pests in the fields and said there is a wide range of fungi particularly in the soil.

Mr. Scott said the yellowing of papaya leaves, the falling off of food from the trees and a black appearance at the top of the plants are all symptoms of a fungal virus.