Cotton plays an important role in the Indian economy as it is one of the principal crops of India as the country’s textile industry is predominantly cotton based. India is known as one of the largest producers and exporters of cotton yarn. By the year 2021, the textile industry is expected to reach USD 223 billion.
Cotton which is the commercial crop and the backbone of the textile industry as the major use of the cotton is in the textile industry since the fibers of the cotton plant are harvested and woven into the fabric for production. We can use cotton seeds to extract oil for use in the cooking oil and for manufacturing soaps etc.
Cotton pests are currently the main subject of research. The major cotton pests are the pink bollworm which is widely distributed serious pest. The Pink bollworm chews through the cotton lint to feed on seeds as cotton is used for seed oil and fiber so the damage is double and huge. The larvae feed on the seeds and destroy the fibers of cotton thus reducing its quality. Over 50% of the cotton crops have now lost to the bollworm since its discovery has caused millions of dollars of cotton damage each year.
Let us have a look at some of the evidence,
Output dips in Telangana on pink bollworm attacks
With farmers completing the third round of picking in several parts of Telangana, total output is pegged at 50 lakh quintals as against the targeted 3.5 crore quintals.
Unfavourable weather conditions and pink bollworm attacks resulted in extensive crop damage in the State. Dry spells in the initial stages of the kharif season, too, led to stunted growth of bolls.
About 20 lakh farmers grew cotton on about 44-45 lakh acres this kharif as against the normal area of 41 lakh acres. In a normal season, farmers get an average yield of 8-10 quintals an acre.
This time, however, yields halved due to the pink bollworm menace, which set in early in the season in some areas.
Pink bollworm again attacks cotton crop in Maharashtra
The pink bollworm has again attacked cotton plants in Maharashtra this year, causing concern among farmers and the State government.
The pest had caused large-scale damage to the cotton crop last year in central and eastern Maharashtra, the State’s main regions producing the commodity.
The pink bollworm attack on cotton has been reported this year from Akola and Washim districts in Vidarbha and Nanded and Parbhani in Marathawada, a senior official in the agriculture department said. “The pest has again shown its presence. It has attacked plants in their early stages of growth. If the pest is not controlled in time, the plants will die and there will be no yield,” he said.
Pink bollworm is an insect which chews through the cotton lint to feed on the seeds.
A farmer from Nanded district said there was no assurance from the State government on controlling the pink bollworm attack or any communication about advanced methods to check its spread. “Therefore, many farmers decided to change the crop as they had lost the cotton yield last year. The financial aid, as announced by the government for the damage to crops, was also not properly disbursed,” he claimed.
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