Neem insecticide to fight whitefly

On the recommendations of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the Department of Agriculture team today launched a neem-based insecticide to curb whitefly attack in cotton fields.
Using specially designed equipment, the team today sprayed the fields owned by farmer Gokal Chand in Dangarkhera village near here.
The team said the affect of whitefly was mild at present and farmers need not be apprehensive. They have been advised not to try insecticides that PAU had not recommended.
The whitefly attack in Punjab that damaged over 75 per cent crop across the cotton belt had led to widespread protests last year.
The damage to the cotton crop, over 95 per cent of which was Bt cotton, was estimated to be around Rs 4,500 crore.
It was also seen as a reason behind suicides of many farmers in the cotton belt, including Abohar, Fazilka, Bathinda and Muktsar segments.
The whitefly attack on Bt cotton crop was the main reason for the government to work and develop new crop technologies. The state government had to sanction Rs 600 crore as compensation to affected farmers after facing widespread criticism over purchase of “ineffective” brand of insecticide.
Source:  The Tribune, June 24, 2016