New pepper hybrid developed

In a major breakthrough, scientists of the Pepper Research Station, Panniyur, have developed a new hybrid pepper variety that can resist the infamous foot-rot disease. Into the fourth year of its trial, the variety has also shown resistance to drought and erratic climate, KP Mammooty, head, Pepper Research Station said. Foot-rot disease is estimated to eat into 20-25% of the annual pepper production of the country and in some cases, farmers have stopped cultivating pepper after suffering economically from it, he said. The disease spreads rapidly and the damage is extensive. At present, no remedy exists for foot-rot disease in pepper, other than cutting and removing affected plants completely, he added. The new hybrid is developed by crossing the indigenous