MULTAN (APP): Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) Muhammad Shabbir Ahmad Khan urged officials and the farmers’ community to accelerate the ongoing off-season pest management strategy to keep the country’s most valuable cash crop safe against the Pink Bollworm.

Presiding over a meeting to review off-season pest management for the cotton crop at the agriculture house here Monday, the senior official underlined the need for enforcing a track and traceability system to make fertilizers available to farmers at a fixed price and ordered strict action against those involved in black-marketing and over-charging.

Director General agriculture extension Punjab Dr. Muhammad Anjum Ali informed the additional secretary task force that extension officials were executing the off-season pest management strategy as per target adding that pink bollworm and its Larvae were being destroyed at farmers’ outhouses, ginning factories, and crop fields. An advocacy campaign via Masjid loudspeaker announcements and other means was also in progress to sensitize farmers on how to keep the pink bollworm threats away.

Farmers are being told they should keep the cotton sticks in form of smaller heaps rested against the wall in a nearly perpendicular position with their roots touching the ground so that sunlight could kill the pest and its Larvae. Moreover, the remaining bolls should be destroyed while the position of cotton sticks heaps should be changed fortnightly.

Ginning factories owners have been advised to destroy waste, remaining bolls, and seeds.
Farmers were being advised to apply a smoke spray of ammonium Phosphide to seeds stored in godowns to kill the pink bollworm while in its winter sleep.

Additional secretary task force south Punjab Chaudhry Imtiaz, DG Pest warning Rana Faqeer Ahmad, director agriculture information Muhammad Rafiq Akhtar and other officials were present.

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