Measures afoot to eradicate crop-damaging pests from Ladakh: Minister

Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari today called for efficient integrated pest management strategies in Ladakh region to tackle agriculture pest and insects damaging crops.

The Minister said this while chairing a meeting of experts regarding management of insects, pests and aphid in Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh. He said the horticulture industry in the cold arid desert region of Ladakh has enough potential to produce best quality crops.

Vice Chairman Horticulture Development Board, Abdul Salam Reshi, Secretary Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Director Horticulture, Mathoora Masoom, Director Horticulture Planning and Management, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri, Director Law Enforcement Agriculture Production Department, Head Division of Entomology SKUAST Kashmir, Chief Horticulture Officer Bandipora, In-charge DLSMS Penology Baramulla and other concerned were present in the meeting.

The Minister was apprised about various insects and pests damaging crops in Ladakh region, including Codling moth (Cydia pomonella) and Brown tail moth (Euproctis Chrysorrhoea). He was informed that these moths create a serious threat to apricot, the basic commercial fruit crop of the region.

Experts informed the Minister about the methods required for management of these moths. It was given out those moths in cold arid region of Ladakh needs a sustainable approach to integrated pest management based on scientific principles to achieve desired results.

He was told that various modern and scientific methods adopted to control Codling moth are installation of light traps, installation of Trichogramma embyrophagum for the egg parasitization, and Pheromone trap installation, among other means.

The meeting was briefed that other than modern methods sanitation of the orchards including burning of the fallen leaves, twigs and pruned wood, burying of the damaged fruits, scrapping of the bark manual destruction of the larvae are some cultural practices to prevent the spread and multiplication of this pest.

On the occasion, Bukhari directed for constituting a team of experts from horticulture and SKUAST who will tour Ladakh region to find out effective and sustainable methods to tackle insects and pests damaging the crops.

He said that a proper strategy is needed involving local growers community for implementing the programme to eradicate this noxious pest.

The Minister directed for mass popularizing of the pest management practices, preferably biological and eco-safe measures for long-term sustenance by the Horticulture Department. There lies a dire need, he said, to extend the evolved technologies among the growers’ communities to provide a breakthrough in the horticulture sector of the region.

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