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Ready to tackle whitefly threat to cotton: Govt
05
Feb '16
In the aftermath of a devastating pest attack in Punjab that is estimated to slash India's cotton output by 7 per cent this season, the government says that it is ready with a detailed strategy to prevent recurrence of whitefly pest attack on cotton crop in the next season.

“We held several meetings on this issue with all the stakeholders and a comprehensive strategy to prevent recurrence of the pest during next season has been planned," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has said while addressing the 87th AGM of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Society.

During the kharif 2015 season, unprecedented heavy infestation of whitefly on cotton was documented in Punjab and Haryana, resulting in significant damage to the crop, he said.

Singh said there was a severe outbreak of whitefly attack due to deficient rainfall coupled with hot, humid and cloudy weather during June-July 2015.

Singh also said that crop damage in Haryana was relatively less as nearly 50 per cent cotton area in the state was sown on time whereas in Punjab, sowing in over 75 per cent of the crop area was delayed due to late harvesting of wheat.

Bt cotton, which was approved by the government in 2002, is the only genetically modified crop allowed for commercial cultivation in India and over 90 per cent of the country cotton area is sown under it. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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