Maharashtra govt to educate cotton farmers over bollworm attack, duplicate seeds

The state officials will meet farmers and ensure that the safety methods and right practices are explained through village committees during the kharif season

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Nagpur: The top agricultural officials and the minister of Maharashtra government recently reviewed the measures to prevent recurrence of pink bollworm attack on cotton crop and infestation of paddy crop in the six districts of Nagpur division.

Mr Sadabhau Khot, Minister of state for agriculture chaired a top-level meeting at Nagpur where he asked the concerned officials to oversee the preparations for preventing the repeat of the situation like last year when several farm workers were also killed by toxic fumes inhalation during spraying of pesticides. The Minister told the officials to meet farmers and ensure that the safety methods and right practices were explained through village committees during the kharif season.

It was decided to keep a strict check so that illegal herbivore resistant genetically modified seeds did not enter market. Such seeds are smuggled from Telangana and Gujarat. These seeds had caused a havoc in cotton belt last year leading to crop losses and deaths caused by pesticide fumes inhalation of high-vegetating plant variety.

The meeting decided to hold special camps for crop insurance schemes, disbursal of crop loans and speedy completion of farm loan waiver scheme. It was noted that till date banks had barely met 25 percent of crop loan target. The minister warned banks found lax in providing loans to farmers who had already cleared old loans after availing waiver scheme would face action as per RBI guidelines.

Maharashtra’s agriculture commissioner Sachindra Pratap Singh, divisional commissioner Anoop Kumar, divisional joint director of agriculture Narayan Sisode, district collectors Ashwin Mudgal, Shantanu Goel, Shailesh Nawal, Shekhar Singh and other officials were present.