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“30% of Punjab's cotton crop area affected by white-fly”
24
Sep '15
Punjab's Agriculture Minister Tota Singh has admitted that 30 per cent of the area under cotton cultivation had been affected by the white-fly pest attack which is turn, has given rise to an angry community of farmers who are blaming the government for poor quality pesticides, according to newspaper reports.

"As much as 1.36 lakh hectares (30 per cent) out of 4.5 lakh hectares of area was affected by pest attack," Tota Singh told the state assembly during its monsoon session.

The government had come under fire from farmers and opposition leaders over the agriculture department's role in purchase and distribution of poor quality pesticide. But Tota Singh refuted the charge that the entire damage caused to cotton crop was due to spurious quality of pesticides.

"Out of total 11.25 lakh hectares of area sown under cotton crop, 92,167 hectares (10-15 per cent) was covered under the pesticides purchased by the agriculture department, whereas in the remaining 85-90 per cent area, pesticides were purchased by the farmers at their own level," he claimed.

The minister said that he immediately ordered a probe to ascertain the quality of pesticides and rules followed for their purchase. He said that he had also ordered withholding payment to the suppliers. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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