Whitefly present in guar, sugarcane
The impact of whiteflies is visible on other crops such as guar and sugarcane along with American varieties of cotton. The pest, however, had been unable to damage crops other than cotton.
Agriculture development officers and scientists said this during a workshop at Haryana Agriculture University (HAU) here today.
SS Siwach, director of research, HAU, said there had been reports from Karnal and Sirsa districts about the presence of whiteflies on sugarcane and guar crops. “So far, the pest has damaged varieties of BT cotton. The desi cotton (Indian variety) has not affected. So, agricultural scientists have developed good varieties of desi cotton and urge farmers to sow this instead of BT cotton,” he said.
HAU Vice Chancellor KS Khokhar, who is part of a five-member committee assigned the task to find a solution to the recurring attacks of whiteflies on cotton, said the panel would prepare a report after getting feedback from farmers and officers in the field.
Meanwhile, several affected farmers led by Jan Chetna Manch carried out a demonstration in Narnaund. Manch president Umed Lohan said farmers had been forced to commit suicide due to successive crop failures, but the state government was hardly bothered.