Growers urge agri scientists to find remedy for cotton virus
KARACHI: Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) is responsible for the low production due to which the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) had to reduce the production target from 13.82 million bales to 12.41 million bales for the current season, president Punjab Kissan Board, Khurshid Ahmed Kanju said on Tuesday.
He said that the cotton growers have asked the agricultural scientists to find a cure to the CLCV and mealy bug, as these have severely damaged the crop in Multan, Vehari and Khanewal this year.
He said the CLCV appeared for the first time some five-six years back in Burewala, but as no effective remedy or virus-resistant seed variety was evolved, the virus is now spreading fast in other areas as well.
The growers in the Multan asserted that the mealy bug attack, which was noticed for the first time last year on a small scale in some areas, was not given due heed, and that too has spread and harmed the crop on a large scale.
They said that the situation is grim in the affected districts where 75 percent farmers could not even get their production cost from their cotton fields.
He said that growers, who used to get 25 maund per acre yield, harvested barely five to ten maunds this year. Some of them have been so hard hit that they cannot pay for the inputs for wheat cultivation.
Chief coordinator Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP), Muhammad Idrees said that it was vital that the government formulate policies for agricultural research that provide effective pest control solutions and healthy alternatives in seeds and other agri inputs.
This is especially needed for crops like cotton, which bear the onus of our agri-based economy, he said.