The Punjab Government is serious about the pink bollworm problem in the Malwa cotton belt. Addressing a high level delegation comprising of officials and experts, Randeep Singh Nabha, Agriculture Minister Punjab today said that from the next season of cotton crop “Mating Disruption Technology” would be introduced for infestation of pink bollworm. High incidence of pink bollworm was reported on BG11 cotton yield in the Malwa region which had adversely affected the crop yield. The current situation of the cotton farmers in Punjab is very grave due to Pink Bollworm. Most of the farmers have uprooted the crop and are demanding compensation from the government. The report on Special Girdawaries is expected soon and the Government would compensate the farmers after the report is compiled. Meanwhile the officials would prepare a report on this as to how to introduce this technology in Punjab.The Agriculture minister today directed all the department officials to introduce the mating disruption technology which is considered the Gold Standard in crop protection and is well known in western countries and has been used in speciality crops like grapes and Apples over the years.
Several trials of this technology with the state agriculture universities and with farmers over the last 4 years have been done which show significant results across multiple states in India. Punjab Agriculture University has also been conducting the trials of the product and has seen significant benefits to the farmers.Mr. Nabha said that the department proposes to do an Area wide management of Pink Bollworm here in Punjab covering more than 2 lakh acres and provide huge relief to the farmers. The technology is no-pump no-spray and the product is in the form of a paste which has to be applied by the farmer in 3 applications at a 30 days interval. The product is a green label and has no ill effects to the environment, plant, farmers and soil.Giving a presentation on this technique, Dr. Markandeya Gorantla, who holds his Master Degrees in Life Sciences and Chemical Engineering, PhD in Functional Genomics Rice, said that this technology would bring cheers to the farmers in Punjab which farmers across the world have been enjoying.Others who were present at the occasion included Mr. Lal Singh Chairman Mandi Board, Sh. DK Tiwari Financial Commissioner, Mr. Dilraj Singh secretary agriculture, Mr. Ravi Bhagat Secretary Mandi Board, Mr. Rahul Gupta PCS, Mr. Harshuinder Brar JD Mandi board, Director Agriculture Mr. Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, Commissioner Agriculture and experts from PAU.