Govt releases Rs 16.97 cr to check pink bollworm attack on cotton

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Sep 2018 11:29:59


Staff Reporter,

Following the reports of pink bollworm infestation in cotton-growing areas of Maharashtra, State Government has released Rs 16.97 crore to check the infestation. Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, and Fisheries Department has issued an order in this regard. Crop Pest Surveillance and Advisory Project (CROPSAP) is being implemented in State since 2013-14 regarding pest and disease management in case of cotton, soyabean, paddy, Tur, and gram crops. Since 2011-12, similar programme is being implemented for pest and disease management in case of horticulture crops like mango, pomegranate, banana, mosambi, orange, and chikoo.

In the meeting of State-level steering committee of CROPSAP, it was decided to include horticulture crops also in pest and disease management under CROPSAP. Accordingly, in 2018-19, administrative sanction was given to provision of Rs 41.4708 crore for the pest management programme. Of this, an amount of Rs 10.50 crore was released too. However, later, a separate amount of Rs 26.4708 crore was approved vide supplementary demands solely for the purpose of checking pink bollworm attack on cotton crop. It is from this amount that the latest amount of Rs 16.97 crore has been released to Commissioner (Agriculture).

Depending upon the extent of pink bollworm infestation, aid from this amount will be released to respective cotton-growing districts in the State. A letter in this regard has been issued to all Joint Directors (Agriculture) of all administrative divisions, and all District Superintending Agriculture Officers.  By July end this year, pink bollworm infestation was reported in Nagpur as well as Amravati divisions. Pink bollworm was found in a survey conducted by Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth in Akola. In Nagpur division, moths of pink bollworm were found in pheromone traps installed by Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Selsura in Deoli tehsil in Wardha district. By that time, total 60,000 pheromone traps had been installed across Nagpur division, and 10,640 traps in Amravati division.

Pink bollworms feed on cotton leaves, bolls, and flowers. As the bollworms consume seeds in cotton bolls, quality of cotton declines. Besides, the percentage of oil also gets reduced. Considering the damage caused to cotton crop by bollworm, farmers should go for pest management to avoid loss. The farmers should install five pheromone traps per hectare, eliminate moths caught in the traps, change the lures in the trap, spray neem extract (five per cent) if there is pink bollworm attack, spread 1.5 lakh eggs per hectare of Trichogrammatoidea bactrae. If 8-10 moths of pink bollworm are found every day for three consecutive days in pheromone traps, farmers should spray pesticide, stated an advisory issued by Agriculture Department last month.