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Punjab forms inter-state panel to tackle whitefly
06
Jun '16
The Punjab Government has formed a ten-member inter-State panel in order to evaluate the risk of pest attack and to take needful measures in the State to save its cotton crop.

The consultative and monitoring committee includes scientists and other experts from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, while Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) vice-chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon is its chairman, Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal announced on Saturday after a high-level review of the situation in Punjab's cotton producing districts of Bathinda, Mansa, Fazilka, and Muktsar districts.

Punjab Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal reviewed the arrangements and preparations to contain the whitefly attack this season.

Taking serious note of detection of whitefly in Abohar, Fazilka areas, Kaushal asked teh committee to launch a concerted drive in these specific areas so that the spread of whitefly, if any, could be averted.

It was also decided in the meeting to persuade farmers to sow barrier crops namely maize, jwar and bajra to contain pest attack that was the need of the hour.

Kaushal said the committee would hold joint fortnightly discussions, make field visits, carry out research work and explore and share techniques to contain pest attack besides making farmers aware about the barrier crops to save cotton from whitefly attack.

He said they will remain fully alert and in case of any information regarding pest attack, they would ensure field visit to take stock of situation. He said that the officers would visit the spot along with initiating immediate solution to contain pest attack.

He also directed agriculture officers to adopt zero tolerance against pest attack and spread of whitefly and instructed Deputy Commissioners of the districts to monitor the situation.

Kaushal said that they would hold regular meetings to know the ground situation whereas agriculture officers would keep their awareness camp drive continue to educate farmers about barrier crops.

Last year, spurious pesticides and seeds had failed to resist the whitefly pest which devastated the crop in Punjab.(SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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