Cotton growers in Haryana fear heavy losses. The whitefly and other diseases have hit the crop cultivated over a record 7,38,000 hectares this kharif season. The farmers want a special girdawari to assess the losses.
The crop in four districts — Hisar, Sirsa, Fatehabad and Bhiwani — has been infested with the whitefly besides parawilt and leaf curl. Uneven rainfall also caused much damage. While in some areas waterlogging ruined the crop, dry spells in other parts led to withering of plants, said Agriculture Department officials.
They said the whitefly had caused extensive damage in Hisar, Fatehabad, Sirsa and Bhiwani districts. Sources claimed the losses incurred could be the highest since 2015 when the whitefly had destroyed almost 70 per cent of the crop. The farmers were then given Rs 967 crore as compensation.
“The department will recommend a special girdawari to the state government,” said a senior official. A former Director of the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), Dr Dilip Monga, said that lack of awareness among farmers regarding crop management was also to blame for the damage.