'Pink bollworm is out of control in India' -KV Kurmanath
-The Hindu Business Line
Arizona, China wins war, but for India it’s too late, says US expert
Hyderabad: That pink bollworm has developed resistance to Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab (or Bollgard-II) — the two biotech solutions currently available in India to tackle pink bollworm — is no news.
Virulent attack of the pest is destroying the fibre crop on lakhs of acres across the country, particularly in the West, Central and Southern parts.
An American pink bollworm expert says that it is impossible to tackle the menace with the current two Bt toxins being used in the country. “It has gone out of control. It’s too late. Too little,” he points out, when asked about the likely control mechanisms.
“The two genes that are being used in India are now ineffective. The resistance is widespread. There is no way we can set the clock back if we use these two Bt toxins,” Bruce Tabashnik, Head of Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona, who studies pest resistance and has done extensive study on pink bollworm and its resistance to Bt toxins, told BusinessLine.
It, however, is not the end of the road. There is a way out, he asserts. “Use all tools. For now, shorten cotton season, destroy crop residues, go for deep summer ploughing, crop rotation, mating disruption, insecticides based on scouting and thresholds,” he points out.
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