SKAUST to formulate Covid-control like measures to tackle invasive pests in orchards: VC
Post by Javid Sofi on Friday, January 20, 2023
Pulwama, Jan 19: The Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K) will be devising COVID control like mechanism for eradication of invasive pests, leaf miner and fruit borer in apple orchards.
Talking to Rising Kashmir in an interview, Vice Chancellor SKUAST-K, Dr Nazir Ahmad Ganai, revealed that two invasive pests , leaf miner and leaf borer, were reported in some apple orchards in North and South Kashmir districts.
He said that during year 2020-21 they had caused around 25 per cent damaged in the infected orchards.
“A holistic strategy was adopted during previous year to control the pests due to which the damage was reduced below 5 percent in the infected orchards,” the Vice Chancellor said, adding that the pests have moved to some other areas.
He said that it is very essential to contain the pests at its initial stage so that orchardists don’t have to increase number of pesticide sprays to their orchards.
The Vice Chancellor said that they will formulate a COVID control like mechanism for eradication of these invasive pests.
He added that they will be carrying a large scale survey with the help of a mobile application involving all orchardists to identify the infected spots across Kashmir.
He informed that the survey will help to locate exact magnitude of the infection.
“ On the basis of intensity of infection a particular spot in an orchard will be classified into different zones,” he said, adding that a high level infection spot in an orchard will be declared as Red Zone, the next spot surrounding the Red Zone will be Yellow Zone and the outer layer will constitute Green Zone.
He said that for eradication of the invasive pests , the orchardists will be advised to adopt the pest appropriate behaviour and accordingly all plant material including leaves, twigs and waste fruit will have to be disposed off within the Red Zone.
He said that orchardists will be asked to maintain orchard hygiene for the pest containment.
The Vice Chancellor also informed that they will be involving all KVK’s, field functionaries of horticulture department, agriculture department and civil society members for creating mass awareness among farmers about the invasive pests.
On transmission of these invasive pests in Kashmir, the Vice Chancellor said that these are not uncommon at other places but in Kashmir they were reported in 2020 for the first time.
“ We don’t know how they transmitted to Kashmir but we have strived to control these in their initial stage,” he said, adding that they will be establishing a post entry quarantine facility in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture so that fruit materials imported from various places are put into the quarantine for a specific period before they are released into the market.
Leaf miner and fruit borer are insects. The leaf miner infects leaves and the leaf borer causes damage to the fruit.