Pink bollworm hits cotton in Gujarat, AP, Maharashtra

Pink bollworm pest has affected cotton crop in parts of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Maharashtra, as resistance to the pest in some transgenic varieties has reduced. The Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) in Nagpur has reported damage due to the pest in the three states, minister of state for agriculture Parshottam Rupala informed parliament recently.


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The Maharashtra Government has already directed seed firms to pay a compensation of Rs 36.83 lakh to farmers, Rupala said. Agriculture scientists attribute the pest attack to wrong farming practices and use of non-certified Bt cotton seeds.

In flood-ravaged Gujarat, where about a quarter of the cotton crop has been damaged due to heavy rain, most parts where cotton was sown early -- which includes Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Mehsana -- are experiencing a pink bollworm attack again, according to media reports.

The pest attack will increase input costs for farmers. Cotton sowing has been done on over 2.63 million hectares as on July 31 this year, against 2.18 million hectares in corresponding period in 2016, according to Gujarat’s agriculture department. 

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