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Tuesday June 25, 2024

Copters, drones spray cotton fields amid whitefly threat

Free spraying is being done in the cotton areas, and 1,400 high-spray machines have been provided for pest control

By Our Correspondent
September 14, 2023
This picture taken on August 30, 2022, shows a labourer walking past damaged cotton crops in Sukkur, Sindh province. —AFP
This picture taken on August 30, 2022, shows a labourer walking past damaged cotton crops in Sukkur, Sindh province. —AFP   

LAHORE: The army-assisted spray through helicopters and drones continued on Wednesday to eliminate infestations of whiteflies threatening the productivity of cotton.

According to a spokesman for the provincial agriculture department, due to the hot and dry weather in south Punjab, the attack of cotton whiteflies has been observed in some areas. To combat the pests, spraying is being done with the help of drones and helicopters, with the technical support of Pakistan Army.

The spokesman said the whitefly takes shelter in the surrounding fields during spray, so to remedy this, apart from the cluster or community spray, drone technology is also being used to spray more areas in less time.

Free spraying is being done in the cotton areas, and 1,400 high-spray machines have been provided for pest control. Apart from this, a priority supply of canal water is going on in south Punjab. An awareness campaign is also going on through print, electronic, and digital media to provide technical support to the farmers.

During this campaign, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has also lent support of Rs50 million for the purchase of quality pesticides. Under the directions from the chief minister, the agriculture department is fully alert and is working side by side with farmers to control the harmful insects in cotton crop. The department is taking drastic measures on an emergency basis to stop the harmful insects on cotton, especially the whitefly, to save the labour of cotton farmers from going waste.