Muktsar, July 14
Cotton farmers in Muktsar district have started plowing their crop due to increased whitefly attacks. Farmer Jagroop Singh from Bhundar village, who plowed his two-acre whitefly-infested cotton crop, said he even sprayed pesticides twice as recommended by the Department of Agriculture, but to no avail .
“Out of a total of five acres, I had sown cotton on two acres after almost a decade. The whole crop was hit by whitefly attack and a virus. So I plowed the crop today. I demand compensation from the state government and I demand that the authenticity of pesticides and seeds are also checked,” he said.
Agriculture officials are the least concerned
I bought the seeds from a dealer based in Jagraon in April. After two months, I had doubts about the quality of the seeds. No one from the agriculture department bothered to visit my field. Now I have no choice but to plow my fields. —Charanjit Singh Sandhu, Sakkanwali Village
Another farmer, Bhupinder Singh from Daula village, also plowed his cotton crop on nearly three acres. Some other farmers are also ready to plow their cotton crop, which turns black and stunted growth.
“A similar situation from 2015 could happen soon when the whitefly had taken its toll. Department of Agriculture should take concrete and immediate action to control whitefly otherwise no farmer will plant this cash crop from next season,” said Gurdeep Singh, also from Daula village.
Notably, the Department of Agriculture also found the above economic threshold (ETL) whitefly in a number of villages in the district.
Gurpreet Singh, Director of Agriculture in Muktsar, said: “Our teams recently inspected 142 cotton fields. Whitefly attack was greater than ETL in 61 fields. We regularly call on cotton farmers to spray pesticides, but barely 30% of farmers have followed our advice. »