Indian growers fear ToBRFV outbreak

With about 60% of standing rabi tomato crops being decimated in the last 10 days in key growing areas of Phaltan, Satara, Narayangaon, Nasik and Ahmadnagar by an unidentified virus reported for the first time in India, it is going to be a very difficult scenario for the vegetable seed industry in Maharashtra to cope with it for next season, according to Tripurari Pandey of AgroStar.

"The symptoms and impact of the disease seems quite similar to an emerging ToBRFV, which has devastated the crops earlier in the European Union but yet to be confirmed", he says.

Experts at the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth at Rahuri, Ahmednagar, which is the local agriculture university, are studying the outbreak along with State government officials but the virus remains unidentified. The despondent farmers are now pointing fingers at seed companies — including an MNC — for allegedly selling diseased seeds, The Hindu reports.

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