Solution Quick Wilt in black pepper -biological control
Country India
Last update: 08/12/2006
Summary Quick wilt (Phytophthora capsici) is a fungal disease of black pepper (Piper nigrum). Once the roots are affected the plant wilts and dies within a month. This fungus can be controlled by an antagonistic fungus (Trichoderma sp) through competition, antibiosis and hyper parasitism
forum discussion 
Contributed by person details Ms. Omana Thakarprambil (RASTA, TeleSupport India)
Challenge/Issue Black pepper is a cash crop in many parts of Kerala. Quick wilt, a fungal disease, is the main reason for the decline of pepper production in these traditional pepper producing areas. The pathogen attacks both the root system as well as the aerial parts of the plant. The attack on root system causes complete damage of the plant within months.
Method A description of this method in Malayalam can be found in the 'Publications' tab.


Well rotten organic manure - 100 kg
Trichoderma culture - 1 kg
Water - 35 liters

The Trichoderma culture is multiplied in organic manure and then applied in the field. The multiplication should be started at least 15 days prior to the application.


1) Trichoderma cultures are available in the market or in local agricultural research stations. Mix 1 kg of the culture with 100 kg of any one of the following well rotten organic manures -
- powdered cow dung.
- 1:1 mixture of cow dung and coffee husk.
- 9:1 mixture of cow dung and neem cake.

2) Select a firm, rainproof and shady place for the multiplication of the culture.

3) Spread the organic manure into a bed of 15 cm depth and uniformly moisten it with 35 litres of water and turn it.

4) Take 10 kg of the above mixture and make it into a bed of 2.5cm depth. Sprinkle 100g of the culture uniformly on this bed. This forms the first layer of the mixture.

5) Make nine more such layers on this. Turn this from one end to the other to give a uniform mixture. Make this into a bed of 25cm depth.

6) Check the moisture level every day and sprinkle water if it is beginning to dry out. Turn the mixture once in five days.

7) The mixture will be ready in 15 days, normally showing a pale green coloured fungal growth.

8) Apply 2.5 kg to 5 kg of this in shallow trenches 50-60cm away from the plant, mix this with soil and mulch properly. Do this twice a year, first in May-June and later in Sept – Oct.

9) Continue the practice in the following years to ensure the establishment of the fungus in the soil.

Lessons learned 1) The organic matter used in multiplication should be well rotten. Otherwise the heat produced during its decomposition will kill the Trichoderma fungal spores.

2) Application of Trichoderma increases the growth of young plant.

3) Neem cake helps in the faster multiplication of Trichoderma.

4)Use of neem cake increases the temperature of the mixture very fast. So the temperature should be controlled by daily sprinkling of water.

5) Application of Trichoderma, while planting new seedlings, helps in the easy establishment and survival.

6) Mulching is a must to ensure the proper multiplication of the fungus.

7) No fungicide should be used in the root zone of the plant after the application of Trichoderma.

8)The pepper kernel size, weight:volume and dry weight:wet weight are found to be greater in those plants to which Trichoderma has been applied.
List Keywords
1.1 Socio- economic Sector (OECD) 311 Agriculture
1.2 Institutional dimension Social- livelihood systems/ Gender
1.4 Target group(s) 1. Local communities
4. Research community
2.1 Production System 2. Mixed cropping system
Rainfed system
2.2 Production Chain 3. Pest & Disease Control
2.3 Commodity group Non-food agricultural products
2.5a Agro-Ecology: Thermal zone 1: Tropical
2.5b Agro-ecology: Altitude zone Highlands
2.5c Agro-Ecology: Moisture zone 3. Humid
3.1 Natural Resource Mgmt. Community-based NRM
3.2 Pollution-Environmental Protection 3. Ecosystems
6. Pesticides & toxics
Stage Country Region Location
Test India Kerala Wayanad, Idukki, Calicut, kottyam
Apply India Kerala Wayanad, Idukki, Kottyam
Role Person name
Describer person details Mr. C.K Vishnudas
Type Title Function Download
Extension leaflet, brochure, policy brief or poster output details Quick wilt in black pepper - Biological control with Trichoderma -Malayalam Description 49kb
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