TELANGANA

Pink bollworm threat looms over cotton crop

Agriculture scientist Sudhanshu Kasbe showing pink bollworm in a cotton flower at Ponnari in Adilabad district.S. Harpal SinghS_HARPALSINGH

Agriculture scientist Sudhanshu Kasbe showing pink bollworm in a cotton flower at Ponnari in Adilabad district.S. Harpal SinghS_HARPALSINGH  

Despite the guarantee of a good season thanks to the investment support under Rythu Bandhu scheme, excellent seed germination rate, conducive rainfall and above all the Rs. 1,300 hike in the minimum support price, there is no guarantee that cotton farmers will be left with good profit.

The pink bollworm pestilence could prove to be a tormentor once again as the incidence can be seen in hundreds of acres at this juncture. The district administration is gearing up to tackle the difficult situation ahead, which requires the State government to provide ‘timely’ help.

Sudhanshu Kasbe, the coordinator of District Agriculture Advisory and Technology Transfer Centre, Adilabad, nevertheless, is hopeful that the season will end well. “We have been alert and the district administration has initiated steps to control the pestilence,” he pointed out, as he appealed to farmers not to panic or resort to wasteful chemical sprays.

Pink bollworm has been damaging cotton crops since the last three years. It was first noticed Jainad, Bela, Tamsi, Talamadugu mandals and Adilabad, in the present Adilabad district followed by incidences in Nirmal, Kumram Bheem Asifabad and Mancherial districts, in that order.

“About 20% of the crop was damaged last year, of about 60 lakh quintals harvested in old Adilabad, owing to the pest.

“We will soon put up pheromone traps as suggested by the scientists and go in for integrated pest management practices,” a worried Ashok, cotton farmer, said.

“Putting at least 10 pheromone traps per acre in respective fields by the farming community of given fields and IPM practices was the only effective way to control the pestilence that occurred had in November,” Dr. Kasbe affirmed as he talked about the measures suggested to farmers.

“We have already conducted an awareness programme for farmers and Agriculture officials and field staff as a preventive measure and distributed some pheromone traps. We have also requested the govt. to supply pheromone traps and neem oil to farmers at subsidised rates,” said Adilabad Collector D. Divya.

The role of the Farmers Coordination Committees can be crucial in spreading awareness on the pestilence as well as on staying away from using chemicals to control the pest.

“The government needs to activate the FCCs now,” said farmer Ashok.

Recommended for you