1. Agriculture World

30 percent Cotton Area in Punjab’s Mansa, Bathinda Districts Suffer Pest Attack

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Pest attack on cotton crop

Pink bollworm has infected almost 30% of the cotton field in Mansa and Bathinda districts of Punjab, with many farmers ploughing their standing crop after failing to save it.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has ordered Girdwari throughout the cotton belt to assess disease spread.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has ordered girdwari throughout the cotton belt to assess disease spread. While many farmers have already begun ploughing their fields, others are waiting for girdwari teams to assess their damage for due compensation.

Manjit Singh, Bathinda and Mansa's chief agriculture officer, confirmed that the attack is on BT cotton varieties rather than Desi cotton.

He stated, "The cause of this attack is last season's cotton stalk, which farmers retain as a source of fuel in their residences, tubewell rooms, or near fields, etc." These stalks are picked from cotton fields after the cotton has been harvested. Even now, last year's supply of cotton stalks has not been entirely consumed, despite the fact that a new crop has begun to enter the market. These stalks can serve as a breeding ground for pink bollworm, causing it to damage the crop in the field. This has occurred in a number of places this year. Once the bug begins destroying the crop, pesticides must be used to control it before it becomes unmanageable. As a result, many farmers did not apply pesticides in August, when this insect initially appeared in crop.” 

According to the information, the area under cotton cultivation last year was 2.5 lakh hectares, and it has grown to 3 lakh hectares this year. Cotton is grown on 96,000 hectares in Bathinda and 65,000 hectares in Mansa. “Nearly 30% of the crop is under pest attack,” Manjit Singh added. We need to assess the percentage of damage using girdwari.”

In Sangrur, Deputy Commissioner Ramvir stated that crops were not being attacked by pink bollworm, while information from Muktsar revealed that reports of pest infestation has arrived from one village of Gidderbaha, but the rest of the district is now safe. As per sources, the Fazilka district is also in the safe zone. According to Agriculture Department data, pink bollworm attacks are very severe in several Haryana villages, whereas Punjab is coping with it after a long gap. Meanwhile, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, MP from Bathinda, will visit a few villages in Talwandi Sabo to meet the farmers about the issue. She had also demanded a compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre for farmers.

She also claimed that poor pesticide quality was the reason for pesticides having zero effect on crops. She demanded an inquiry into this case as well as punishment for the culprits.

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