ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Cotton : Survival Struggle

An attack by the American bollworm pest is feared to have caused considerable damage to the cotton crop in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The news has distressing echoes of the incidents of 1998-99, when failure of the cotton crop due a bollworm attack resulted in suicides by hundreds of farmers in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. As early as July, Punjab Agricultural University experts who had visited the cotton-growing areas of the state had observed the pest feeding on the cotton plants. This year acreage under cotton has gone up in all the three states. In Punjab, cotton cultivation has expanded by almost 1 lakh hectares, in a shift away from paddy to diversify agriculture. Yet the estimate of cotton output for the 2001-02 (October-September) crop year is being revised downward from the record 17 million bales (of 170 kg each) forecast earlier.



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