A cotton farmer from Pakistan has revealed how support from CABI, as part of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), is helping her implement more sustainable pest management strategies to protect her crops and produce higher and more profitable yields.
Safina Gill, who told her success story at the CABI stall at a Regional Members Meeting organised by the BCI in Lahore, said Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) advocated by CABI have resulted in her using less pesticides and more biological controls to fight pests such as the mealybug.
Spinners, retailers and farmers who attended the event at the Pearl Continental Hotel, which coincided with 10 years since the launch of the BCI, learnt that Ms Gill is now cultivating different crops on 110 acres of her 131 acres of land – instead of just 60 acres previously – thanks to better practices to save water and conservation.
She also told how, before she had received training from CABI, she used to apply pesticides on the basis of assumption of estimated time of pest or crop situation but now visits the field herself to scout for pest and then decides whether to spray her field or not.
Ms Safina also said that she has established a Natural Enemies Field Reservoir (NEFR) on her farm to grow a beneficial insect to manage cotton mealybug.
Dr Umair Safdar, Development Communications Executive based at CABI’s office in Rawalpindi, said, “Ms Gill expressed that through the use of ridge sowing, the application of farm yard manure and maintaining clean water channels, she managed to cultivate other areas of her land – thereby increasing her productivity.
“She also told visitors regarding available NEFR, yellow sticky traps, border crops and the benefits of attractant crops are all possible by following the Better Cotton farm model. IPs, spinners and other representatives from the textile industry showed interest in the GAPs applied by CABI as well as buying Better Cotton from Ms Gill.”
Read more about ‘Producing better cotton in Pakistan’ on the project page.
See our cotton harvest picture special from Pakistan on the CABI blog.