Whitefly attack in Mansa: Central team backs recommendations of agri dept, farmers disappointed

The team comprised officials of Central Integrated Pest Management Centre, Punjab Agriculture University, Krishi Vigyan Kendra among others.

punjab Updated: Aug 18, 2017 10:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mansa
Whitefly attack,Punjab farmers,harsimrat Kaur
"We visited the fields and in some places we found the whitefly beyond ETL (economic threshold level),” said DC Rajak, joint director, Union agriculture ministry, who is heading the team. (HT File )

A 14-member central team on Thursday visited the whitefly-infested cotton fields at 14 villages in Mansa district and asked the farmers to use pesticides recommended by the state agriculture department.

This left many farmers disappointed as they were expecting fresh solution to the problem after Bathinda MP and Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had promised to send a team from New Delhi to assess the damage.

"We visited the fields and in some places we found the whitefly beyond ETL (economic threshold level),” said DC Rajak, joint director, Union agriculture ministry, who is heading the team. He said they will also visit fields in Bathinda and they will issue an advisory to the state government over the precautions to be taken by the agriculture department.

The team comprised officials of Central Integrated Pest Management Centre, Punjab Agriculture University, Krishi Vigyan Kendra among others. Earlier, Harsimrat had said that PAU was inefficient in controlling the whitefly attack.

Panic triggers sale of pesticides

PAU officials, who were part of the team, said that the panic among farmers triggered the sale of pesticides in Bathinda.

“As per my information, pesticides worth Rs 5 crore were sold in the last week since the issue of whitefly has come to light," said Dr DS Bhatti.“We gave the list of villages the team visited to Harsimrat Kaur Badal,” said Gurmail Singh, SAD district president (rural).

“Harsimrat claimed the team will come up with out-of-the-box solution to the problem but they simply repeated what the agriculture department has been saying for all this while," said a farmer from Kasampur Chhina village.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 10:19 IST