Agri Business

Cotton trade body writes to Centre seeking early measures to control locust menace

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on May 27, 2020 Published on May 27, 2020

The locust attack in parts of India is feared to pose a threat on the kharif cotton crop in the key growing States. The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has appealed to the Centre for taking immediate measures to control the spread of the menace.

The CAI has written letters to the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar seeking urgent appropriate steps “for controlling these locusts’ attacks and also please advise the concerned Central and State government agencies to issue necessary guidelines to the farmers in order to protect their interest and jointly fight against this menace,” Atul Ganatra, President, CAI said in the letter sent on Tuesday.

In a separate letter to the Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani, Ganatra requested the Ministry to initiate appropriate measures “to get rid of the locusts’ attacks, which are creating havoc in some parts of our country.”

Locust presence is spotted in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra — all of the cotton growing States.

Cotton sowing in the North India has completed to the extent of 80 per cent of the kharif season's total sowing. "Cotton sowing in the central and southern parts of India is going to start in the first week of June. These locusts are very dangerous and are feasting on all sorts of plants, vegetation and the standing crops. As per Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), these locusts’ attacks will intensify in the months of June/July and can destroy the cotton crop in these States since all these states are cotton growing states,” said Ganatra requesting quick combat measures.

The States, put together, produce about 236.5 lakh bales (each of 170 kg) or 71 per cent of India’s total cotton production estimated for 2019-20.

Published on May 27, 2020
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