Agriculture Secretary advises Bio-pesticides spray on cotton to keep friendly pests alive

MULTAN: Secretary agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel advised farmers on Tuesday to delay first spray on cotton crop to the maximum and apply biological pesticides spray to keep crop friendly pests alive, cut cost and get good cotton production.

During a visit to government seed farm at Rahim Yar Khan, he said that government was advocating farmers to prefer biological control techniques over application of chemical pesticides adding that farmers should delay the first spray on the crop to the maximum possible and when they do they must chose bio-pesticides for spray. It would keep crop friendly pests alive, cut cost and would give good production. Farmers should resort to chemical pesticides spray only as a last option when pest incidence crosses the Economic Threshold Level (ETL).

He said that the farm officials should collect complete data of trials at the farm regarding zero tillage technology and wheat sowing on ridges so that it could benefit farmers in the next season.

He was informed that plant extracts were applied on wheat trial fields that increased the number of crop friendly pests while incidence of enemy pests was near to nothing.

Witnessing trial fields of apple, avocado, peach, olive and dates at the farm, the secretary agriculture said that in addition to mulching, fruit bearing plants should also have some arrangement to be safe from sunlight and water be applied in time.

He said “Unregistered varieties are mostly susceptible to pest attack and must be avoided and only registered seed varieties be sown.”

He said that government was providing Rs 1000 subsidy per bag of registered seed varieties while subsidy was also being given on Phosphorous and Potash fertilizers to cut farmers’ cost on cultivation. He said, a Rs 4.4 billion subsidy would be provided to counter white fly while BP Ropes would be provided at 60 per cent subsidized price to counter pink bollworm attack on cotton. He advised field formations to ensure enforcement of SOPs in agriculture areas and give guidelines to farmers.