Monday March 27, 2023

Experts term pink bollworm serious threat to cotton

By Our Correspondent
November 17, 2020

MULTAN: Cotton crop experts Monday said attack of pink bollworm has become a key threat to crop cotton. Addressing a national webinar on pink bollworm prevention, the experts said the pest has emerged as a challenge in the country.

The fourth moot on cotton hosted by Central Cotton Research Institute turned into an online webinar due to Covid-19. The experts said at the moment the biggest problem in Pakistan is pink bollworm because it would affect production of cotton in the country. They appreciated the CCRI on taking timely steps and by conducting this important national webinar, useful information and training to farmers against the pest.

Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said the government was well aware about the problems of growers and measures are underway to bring improvement in seed sector. He said the government was well aware of the financial and administrative problems of cotton research institutes and steps were being taken to address them. South Punjab Agriculture Secretary Saqib Ali Ateel said all the stakeholders in the field of cotton and research have to come together on one page. He said only with joint efforts of stakeholders cotton sector can be revolutionised.

He said biological control should be used against pink bollworm and other harmful pests of cotton. Pakistan Central Cotton Committee vice president Dr Muhammad Ali Talpur said the MNFSR is making special efforts to achieve higher cotton production and prevent diseases and pests.

He said the role of the PCCC in resolving the challenges facing the farmers cannot be underestimated and the direct contact of the agricultural scientists working in the field of cotton research and development with farmers is essential. Dr Muhammad Ali Talpur said at present they have to make special efforts to achieve higher cotton production and protect the crop from diseases and pests. Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah said they would formulate short term and long term policies for good cotton production and control of cotton insects. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Agricultural University vice chancellor Prof Dr asif Ali said the services of CCRI agricultural scientists in tackling the challenges of pink bollworm and other insects were commendable. CCRI Director Dr Zahid Mehmood said PB ropes and mechanical bowl picker technology is essential for the control of pink bollworm.

He added the CCRI Multan is making every effort to ensure high production of cotton in the coming season. Cotton Research and Development Board chairman Muhammad Israel said the country's economy could not improve without a revolution in cotton. He demanded the government immediately release suspended salaries of employees working in research institutes.