Punjab Chief Secretary Mr. Sarvesh Kaushal reviewing the arrangements and preparations to contain the whitefly attack this season today formed an interstate panel in order to evaluate the pest attack vis-à-vis needful measures to be taken.Taking serious note of detection of whitefly in Abohar, Fazilka areas, Chief Secretary asked Director Agriculture, VC PAU and Experts of universities to launch a concerted drive in these specific areas so that the spread of whitefly, if any, could be averted. It was also decided in the meeting that launch of persuasion campaign amongst farmers to sow barrier crops namely Maize, Jwar and Bajra to contain pest attack was also need of the hour.Presiding over a brain storming session here accompanied by Additional Chief Secretary Mr. N.S. Kalsi, Secretary Agriculture Mr. Vivek Pratap Singh, Divisional Commissioner Mr. V.K. Meena and Deputy Commissioners of Bathinda, Mansa, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Fazilka, agriculture experts, Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agriculture University and delegates from premium research centers of Country, the Chief Secretary finalized 10 members panel comprising members from negibouring states Haryana and Rajasthan.
The panel will work in tandem under the Chairmanship of Mr. B.S.Dhillon, VC PAU, with two special invitees Mr. Jasbir Singh Bains, Director Agriculture Punjab and Dr. Gurkanwal Singh Director Horticulture besides members Dr. R.K. Gumber, Directore Research PAU, Mr. R.S. Sidhu, Director Extension Education, Dr. S.S. Siwach, Director Research Haryana Agriculture University Hisar, Dr. Dilip Monga, Head, Central Institute of Cotton Research, Sirsa, Dr. Prem Lal Nehra, Rajasthan Agriculture University Bikaner, Dr. Paramjit Singh Director Regional Research Station and Deputy Director Cotton Mr. Sukhdev Singh Sidhu. Giving information about the constituted panel, Mr. Kaushal said that they had formed consultative and monitoring committee to hold joint fortnightly discussions, field visits, research work, explore and share techniques to contain pest attack besides making farmers aware about the barrier crops to save cotton from whitefly attack.In his clear message to officer concerned of agriculture department, the Chief Secretary said that they would remain fully alert and in case of any information regarding pest attack, they would ensure field visit to take stock of situation. He said that the officers would visit the spot along with initiating immediate solution to contain pest attack.
Asking Vice Chancellor PAU and Director Agriculture that interests of Farmers should be protected at all costs the Chief Secretary said that their team should visit in the field to know the actual situation. He said that these teams would take randomly samples of pesticides and insecticides being used by farmers so that their interests could be protected. He also directed agriculture officers to adopt zero tolerance against pest attack and spread of whitefly. Kaushal also deputed Deputy Commissioners of Bathinda Dr. Basant Garg, Mansa Mr. Varinder Sharma, Fazilka Mrs. Isha Kalia and Sri Muktsar Sahib Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr. KPS Mahi to keep a close tab on the situation. He said that they would hold regular meetings to know the ground situation whereas Agriculture Officers would keep their awareness camp drive continue to educate farmers about barrier crops.Experts from Haryana and Rajasthan also laid the emphasise on barrier crops including Maize, Bajra and Jwar on periphery of fields where cotton had been sowed. They said that this exercise would definitely prove a boon for farmers to keep the whitefly away from their fields.Mr. Sarvesh focused the need to retest the samples of pesticides and insecticides randomly, which had been passed earlier, so that the quality of these products to be checked again from different laboratories.The Chief Secretary also asked the officers of Agriculture Department to remain vigilant during ongoing season and any kind of lapse would not be tolerated. He said that officers with lapses under their jurisdiction would have to face the music.
Chief Secretary visited village cotton field in village Naruana-interacted with farmer Sukhpal Singh
Meanwhile Mr. Sarvesh Kaushal accompanied by Additional Chief Secretary Mr. N.S. Kalsi, Secretary Agriculture Mr. Vivek Pratap Singh, Deputy Commission Bathinda Dr. Basant Garg, Mansa Mr. Varinder Sharma, Vice Chancellor PAU Dr. B.S. Dhillon, experts from other states also visited village Naruana. They visited the cotton fields of farmer Mr. Sukhpal Singh and interacted with him to know the real situation. He interacted with the farmer and deputed a team of agri-experts to examine the fields under cotton crop in this area. He also instructed Director Agriculture Mr. Jasbir Singh Bains to expedite the awareness drive by increasing the camps in villages.