24 March 2022, Chandigarh: Taking note of serious threat of Pink Ball Worm to cotton crop in Haryana, the Additional Chief Secretary of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department of the state, Dr. Sumita Misra has directed the field staff to complete the farmers awareness campaign and ensure cleaning of old cotton sticks/piles and fumigation of cotton ginning factories and oils mills in the State of Haryana by 31 March. She has also reviewed the action plan of the Department for controlling the Pink Ball Worm.
Sharing information in this regard an official spokesperson of the Department told Krishak Jagat that taking note of the said threat the Department has already covered about 85% of the villages of cotton growing districts and educated the farmers of the area concerned through Kisan Melas (Farmer fair), Gosthies (Farmer meetings) and trainings by involving CCS HAU, Hisar and Private Firms.
Besides this, the department has also chalked out a weekly programme activity calendar to increase area under cotton cultivation and to implement various advisories throughout the cropping season for better production.
Dr. Hardeep Singh Director General, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department is leading the Department campaign of cleaning the old stock of cotton sticks in the villages and fumigation of cotton factories.
The spokesperson further added that cotton is mainly grown in districts of Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Jind, Sonipat, Palwal, Gurugram, Faridabad, Rewari, Charkhi Dadri, Namaal, Jhajjar, Panipat, Kaithal, Rohtak and Mewat. During previous season cotton was grown on an area of 15.90 lakh acres and it was infested with Pink Ball Worm to some extent in few pockets of the State and losses in the yield were noticed. Now, the Department of Agriculture has fixed a target of 19.25 lakh acres for the Kharif 2022 season.
Among other initiatives being taken the spokesperson said that special emphasis is being given to tackle Pink Ball Worm to avoid yield losses. Also, the Department has already issued advisory to all cotton Ginning and Pressing factories to ensure fumigation of their premises and even an advisory flax board has been displayed in the premises of the said firms. The license of these firms shall be renewed after the compliance of fumigation.
The spokesperson elaborated that the Department of Irrigation has also been requested to make arrangements for timely canal water supply in the cotton growing districts so that the sowing can be completed in short spell of time across the state which can reduce the impact of Pink Ball Worm in later stages. The Agriculture Department has also made an arrangement of around 60 lakhs packets of Bt cotton seed which is adequate as per State requirement.