TS, AP told to swat whitefly menace

TS, AP told to swat whitefly menace
Highlights

Beware, cotton farmers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Whitefly that had inflicted grave damage on cotton crop last year in Punjab and Haryana and to a great extent in Rajasthan could attack the crop in the two Telugu States along with the abutting Karnataka region too.

New Delhi: Beware, cotton farmers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Whitefly that had inflicted grave damage on cotton crop last year in Punjab and Haryana and to a great extent in Rajasthan could attack the crop in the two Telugu States along with the abutting Karnataka region too.

  • Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry issues directive to two Telugu States
  • It explains to two governments that the whitefly has damaged cotton crop in Punjab and Haryana, besides in Rajasthan to some extent S It is brought to the notice of the two States that ‘dozens of farmers committed suicide because whitefly menace’

This warning was delivered by the Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry. The Ministry had issued extensive directives to the States producing cotton to check the adverse impact of whitefly on cotton. However, the Ministry is sceptical that the State governments' may be lax and may not take necessary steps.

"All the cotton growing States should keep in mind the damage potential of this strain of whitefly. The damage to the cotton crop last year in Punjab and Haryana was tremendous. Our work conducted in these two States along with Rajasthan in the recent months confirms our worst fears. This year too cotton farms could be swarmed with whitefly.

Hope the State governments do not neglect our call and take necessary steps and precautions," the Ministry sources warned. The sources said, to save cotton crop from the likely menace of whitefly, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare had taken various preventive measures.

Elaborate assessment and analysis had been carried out on the loss inflicted last year. The sowing process of cotton is set in, in the beginning of April in the States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Central Cotton Research Regional Centre, Sirsa (Haryana) had recently held a meeting in which officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Scientists of Indian Council of Agricultural Research and senior officials of Departments of Agriculture from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan reviewed the preventive measures to check the menace of whitefly.

After the review, the Centre had forwarded extensive directives to the States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan initially. The directives said the sowing process may be carried out within the precincts of scheduled timeframe, only recommended seeds might be utilised, close watch might be kept on the movement of pests and timely sprinkling to check its spread.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research had also provided a list of the pests resist seeds for the farmers. This year emphasis was being given on the timely sowing of cotton. "All the States growing cotton must keep in mind these directives and ensure timely sowing of cotton," the Ministry officials say.

Separate directives would be sent to all the States soon, it said. “The Ministry does not want a repeat of the last year's crisis which saw dozens of farmers in Punjab and Haryana committing suicide due to whitefly menace on their cotton fields,” it said.

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