‘Pesticides provided by govt ineffective to save crops’

Coimbatore: Farmers in the district petitioned collector T N Hariharan on Monday urging immediate action to save their crops, which were infested with white fly. Pointing out that the available biopesticides and chemical pesticides were useless to tackle the insects and pests that infest their crops, the farmers said they wanted agriculture and horticulture officials to visit their fields to assess the situation and tell them what was required.
The farmers, who came to the collectorate with white fly infested banana and coconut leaves and other vegetables, said this year white fly infestation was massive in all their crops. “The bacteria, which we earlier used to tackle the white fly menace, have died, making us dependent on pesticides. Now, none of the pesticides recommended and supplied by the state government work effectively to curb the menace,” said S Palanisamy, president of Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association (CITU).

The state government usually provides them yellow cards to control white flies. “White flies are attracted to yellow colour and if glue is applied on the card, the flies will get stuck to it,” said a senior agriculture officer, who didn’t want to be named.

The farmers said the government also provide them with biological pests like a small virus, bacteria, parasite or even insects that are supposed to naturally kill other insects, besides neem oil, chemical pesticides and yellow cards to tackle insects and pests that infest their crops. “However, none of the above are effective against many pests, virus and bacteria that infest our crops. This year, we had good rain but with such high pest and insect infestation, our yield will get affected,” Palanisamy said.

The farmers said it was strange that invasive species such as parthenium and seemai karuvellam or prosopis juliflora were not infested with white fly or any other pests that attack their crops. “So, these species are continuing to spread in our farms,” the farmers said in their petition. They said it was high time the agriculture department started visiting their farms to take stock of the situation and did some proper research and trials before releasing pesticides.

Download The Times of India for Latest .

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with our FREE daily email newsletter.