STAFF REPORT IBD: The repeated attacks of cotton leaf curl virus (CLCV) on farms in Pakistan has been linked to the lack of implementation of crop zone management laws thus leading to a gradual increase in intensity of virus attack on the cotton crop.

“The setting up of new sugar mills and doubling of capacity of running mills covering more areas under sugarcane crop and increased humidity in adjacent localities are regularly creating a favourable environment for virus attack on cotton crop,” Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) Executive Member Ihsanul Haq said in a statement.

“If the present trend continues, then heavy attack of virus on cotton may result in severe yield losses,” he warned.

He said that only those countries have controlled the virus who have better management practices.

“Without following proper crop zoning for cotton, the virus attack cant be controlled,” Haq said. The areas free from sugarcane crop like Cholistan are seldom attacked by the virus.

He recalled that nearly 15 years ago the Punjab government had declared the districts from Rahim Yar Khan to Mian Channu as cotton zone and discouraged establishment of new sugar mills or capacity enhancement of existing mills there in a bid to avoid humidity buildup, which could damage the cotton crop.

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