FAISALABAD – The Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan China and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad will collaborate in academic and research activities especially to fight pink bollworm which causes a loss of 4 million cotton bales annually in Pakistan.
It was agreed during a meeting of Chinese scientists Cong Shengbo and Wang Ling with UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqbal Zafar. Dr Zafar said the collaborated efforts would bring tangible results. He said that the issue was not only reducing our production but also inflicted the national economy worth billions of rupees. He called for identifying the cause and best methods to overcome the issue.
He said that plant protection measures helped increase per hectare yield by protecting crops from diseases and controlling the pests. He said that all the stakeholder have to play a role in the development of the country.
Wang Ling said that they were working on the latest technology including rearing of pink bollworm for research work. She said that the pink bollworm was the major problem in cotton field. She said that they had overcome pink bollworm issue in China. She said that researches of Institute of Plant Protection and Soil Fertility Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences mainly revolves around botanical pesticides, integrated control of disease; pest and weeds of main crops, and new fertilisers and artificial diet for rearing for research.
Chairman Entomology Dr Jalal Arif, Dr Mansoor Sahi, Dr Sohail, Dr Waseem Akram, Dr Zainul Abidin, Dr Shafqat Saeed, Dr Arsad Shakeel, Dr Muhammad Arshad, Dr Dildar Googi, Dr Waqas Wakeel, Dr Ahmad Nawaz, Dr Abid Ali and others also attended the meeting.
Dr Jalal Arif said under the Punjab Agricultural Research Board, the UAF was working on two projects on pink bollworm and whitefly in collaboration with Ayub Research Faisalabad, Cotton Research Institute Multan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Agriculture University Multan, Nuclear Institute for Biology, Central Cotton Research Institute and NIBGE. He said that only pink bollworm was reducing the production up to 4 billion bales of cotton in Pakistan. He hoped that the joint efforts would help yield improvement. He said that rearing of the pink bollworm is a real issue for research purpose. He said that in 2015, the cotton faced heavy crisis. After it, the university conducted the survey of cotton across the province and developed a report on it as per directives of the government, he said.