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September 29, 2020

Agricultural experts for adopting integrated management techniques

Peshawar

September 29, 2020

FAISALABAD: Agricultural experts Monday called for adopting integrated management techniques to overcome fall armyworm which was damaging crops and causing economic loss worth millions of rupees.

The agriculture experts addressed a workshop organised by Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. Presiding over the moot UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asif Tanveer, stressed the need to conduct the valuable research and development work in this connection.

He said integrated pest management including chemical, biological control, and crop rotations, etc. should be applied to redeem the situation. He called for developing the strategies to fight the pest at the initial level so that it could be dealt effectively. He said the agricultural sector was facing tremendous challenges of low productivity, invasive pest amid the climate changes conditions, excessive usage of pesticides, decreasing fertility and others.

He said we are irrationally using our resources and it is a matter of grave concern. He said excessive pumping of ground water was lowering down the groundwater that would pose a threat to agriculture sector.

He said strengthened academia-industry and farming community linkages would pave way to address agriculture problems. Chairman Entomology Prof Dr Sohail Ahmad said they had surveyed the infected areas. He said such seminars would pave the way to develop strategies to address the issue at the national level. He called for learning from nations experiences also. He said no nation can make the development without effective research and development (R&D) activities. He said they would train the famers in the workshop over the issue. Dr Amer Rasul said FAW began from America and came in India in 2018 and it has attacked Pakistan also in 2019 and this year.

He said fall armyworm larvae feed on the lower surface of leaves. Damage appears in patches in the most cases. The larvae feed on the green leafy material and, in case of severe attack the veins are only left behind.

He said the country must ensure a prompt surveillance system. He said its natural enemies were not as effected. He added that they were working on different techniques to combat the issue.

Director Extension Agriculture Faisalabad Abdul Hameed said that FAW was invading from the last two years. He said that it was need of the hour to educate the farming community about it so that it can be fought in a better way. He lauded the measure being taken on the part of the UAF to highlight eh issue. He added that under the workshop, 15 field officers were also taking part who would educate the farming community. Dr Muhammad Sagheer said the UAF was running a locust research that is working day and night.