SKUAST-K successfully developed Pheromone dispenser technology for the management of Codling Moth in Ladakh region. Codling moth is a well-known global notorious pest and attains a great attention with respect to its quarantine due to its direct effect on widespread damage to apple fruit at the larval stage. The spokesperson said the Government of India and Government of Jammu and Kashmir has imposed an embargo on the export of fresh fruit from Ladakh region both within and outside the State through promulgation of law under "Destructive Pest and Insect Act 1914 Clause II”.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Codling moth is an invasive pest with its distribution mainly restricted to the cold arid region of Ladakh. The pest thought to have entered this region from the North West Frontier province of Pakistan where it is reported as a serious pest of apple. The severe damage caused by this pest has attracted the attention of both the governments and the researchers due to heavy economic losses witnessed during the last few years. It is in this endeavour that a team of Scientists from HMAARI, Leh lead by Dr Barkat Hussain, Associate Professor cum Senior Scientist took an initiative to find out ways and means to minimize loss of apple fruit. The spokesperson said the research work was funded under DST/DBT sponsored projects. The team got full support and patronage from Prof Nazeer Ahmed, Vice Chancellor SKUAST-K, Director Research, Prof M Y Zargar and Prof T H Masoodi Associate Director (R & E) Ladakh region.
With main objective to provide a solution for such a destructive pest in Ladakh region, the researchers found that by using SPLAT (Special pheromone and lure application technology) with only one or two applications of pesticides throughout the season, the infestation can be reduced to as low as zero per cent. It was observed that the SPLAT-a trap less technology being resistant to temperature, exhibits slow and sustained release of a chemical (embedded in wax) in the atmosphere without any health issues. The technology appeared to be so easy to apply that orchardists can have few source points in their orchards either applied on branch or stem of the trees only once till harvesting of apple fruit.
The team is of the opinion that research on SPLAT technology shall be a continuous process until they find a protocol to manage/control the pest Codling moth without any application of the pesticide.