Pink bollworm: farmers to get damages

Will file FIRs against cotton seed companies, says Revenue Minister

Updated - December 06, 2017 03:20 pm IST

Published - December 06, 2017 12:29 am IST - Mumbai

 Pink bollworms in cotton in a field at Jamidi in Tamsi mandal of Adilabad district.

Pink bollworms in cotton in a field at Jamidi in Tamsi mandal of Adilabad district.

State Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil accepted on Tuesday that the pink bollworm pest has spread on the cotton crop in Maharashtra, and will affect the crop yield in December.

The Hindu had reported about the growing spread of the pest two weeks ago.

Mr. Patil said, “The crop has been infected with pink bollworm, but the government agencies are keeping an eye on the situation. We have asked the department to conduct panchnamas, and the work has already begun. Those who are affected by it will be compensated.”

The minister said the government will file FIRs against the seed companies for providing sub-standard seed to farmers. “Apart from that, the companies have agreed to pay part of the compensation to farmers,” he said.

For farmers who have not insured their crop, the State will pay the compensation.

Bt cotton seed Bollgard II (BG II) from Monsanto is said to be the seed which has failed to counter pink bollworm. The Hindu had reported that the State government had ignored warnings of the seed having lost the capability to fight the pest.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, too, had sought the government’s intervention. Many leaders in NCP’s ongoing march from Yavatmal to Nagpur have also raised the issue.

Mr. Patil, however, tried to downplay the amount of loss in yield. “One must understand that actual yield in the market has doubled in the last two months, when compared to last year,” he said.

He said that in October and November 2016-17, the total cotton yield in the market was 2.59 lakh quintal and 19.25 lakh quintal respectively. In 2017-18, it rose to 4.37 lakh quintal and 36.56 lakh quintal respectively, the minister said.

However, sources in the Department of Agriculture said the yield in December may fall to 43.10 lakh quintal, as compared to December 2016-17, when the yield was 78.61 lakh quintal.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.