Sri Lanka, June 28 -- Betel cultivations in Puttalam are ravaged by a disease that is yet to be diagnosed or remedied.

Once boasted of a rich cultivation of this evergreen perennial, nearly 50 acres at Madyama Atavilluwa, Kivula and Bavuma are affected today by what the cultivators identity as 'Thel Rogaya'.

The cultivators say the Agrarian Research Institute is yet to come up with an identification or a solution to curb its spreading.

Faced with such a situation, their last resort is to uproot the diseased vines and burn them.

The prevailing drought in Puttalam has made matters worse for these cultivators.

If authorities fail to pay proper attention to the plight of the cultivators, betel will soon become a rarity.

Published by HT ...