Pakistan averts major damage to rice crop

ISLAMABAD — A major damage to rice crop has been averted in Pakistan by controlling Leaffolder disease in paddy belt of northern Sindh. Also, decline in temperature and timely use of pesticides has saved the crop.

By A Correspondent

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Published: Sun 23 Sep 2007, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:43 PM

"Leaffolder disease that had attacked rice crop in Sindh is now under control. Thanks to the 6-7 Centigrade decrease in temperature," Inayatullah Khan, Rice Commissioner, Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal) said. He said Minfal also appreciated farmers for spraying pesticides on the crop timely.

Leaffolder had attacked rice crop in Sindh at a time when the mercury hovered around 40 Centigrade. The disease subsided after the temperature came down to 33-34 Centigrade, Khan said.

The rice commissioner is on a field visit to the areas where Leadfold attacked rice crop a few weeks back. He said farmers and other stakeholders from Dadu, Kambar-Shahdadkot, Larkhana, Sikarpure, Jacobabad and Kashmore districts have informed him that the disease had disappeared. "The growers and rice researchers from the area have submitted written statements to Minfal in which they have informed that the disease has vanished," he said.

Khan said the disease was expected to damage 3 per cent of the total 5, 90,000 hectares rice crop in Sindh province. But, now there was no fear of any such damages.

" It means we have recovered the damages," Khan observed. In response to a question, the wheat commissioner said that the disease had attacked paddy crop re-planted on the same area from where rice crop was washed away by the recent floods and rains.

Some media reports earlier this month had suggested 13million acres of land in paddy belt of north Sindh comprised of Dadu, Kambar-Shahdadkot, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Kashmore districts had been attacked by Leaffolder disease.

Experts had feared that some 30 per cent of crop might be affected, causing colossal losses not only to the growers but also to national disease. Inayatullah Khan said that for the first time Minfal has opened office of the Seed Certification Department in Larkhana which would go a long way in ensuring quality seed to growers.

Minfal, soon after the damages caused by the recent floods, had estimated more than 200,000 tons reduction in rice productivity. The federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal), in collaboration with the provincial food departments, had conducted an initial survey which had revealed some disturbing figures severe damages to more than 271,000 acres of rice paddies only in Sindh.

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