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Pest problems continue to trouble Indian cotton growers
Nov '11
In spite of extensive and rising use of genetically modified cotton, pest problems continue to trouble cotton growers in India.

Cotton growers in the country no longer face any threat from bollworm which resulted in introduction of Bt cotton in the country in 2006, according to Dr. CD Mayee, President of Indian Society for Cotton Improvement.

Speaking at a plenary session at the fifth World Cotton Research Conference in Mumbai, Dr. Mayee said the threats that cotton growers now counter is from pests like mealy bug, thrips, sucking pests, para wilt, pink bollworms, mired bugs and jassids, which are damaging cotton crops.

Existence of mealy bugs has been traced at various locations in the country, Dr. Mayee added.

Dr. Sandhya Kranthi, Senior Scientist at the Nagpur-based Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), said they have developed solutions to counter the threat of mealy bugs and sucking pests. She informed that they have produced bio-insecticides to deal with the issue of mealy bugs, details of which may be accessed on CICR's website.

Presenting a paper on “Emerging and key insects pests on Bt cotton," Dr. Kranthi said under the All-India Cotton Project, a group of entomologists have evolved a solution to counter the issue of sucking pests in Bt cotton, and they are now waiting for the Centre's approval for implementation of the same.

She stated that during the first part of 2012, the Government would be presented with the research findings of the group on emerging pests in Bt cotton.

In her presentation on “Global markets for organic cotton and India's opportunities and challenges as primary producer", Ms. Prabha Nagarajan of Textile Exchange said India accounts for 80 percent of world's cotton organic market. However, she added that it is equally necessary to ensure adequate availability of non-Bt cotton seeds as well as stringent regulations in the form of introduction of TraceNet, an online traceability system.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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