SKUAST & Horticulture Dept Train Apple Farmers with Pest Control Strategies | Pulwama Awareness Camp A mass awareness cum Farmer-Scientist interaction programme on Management of Apple Blotch Leaf Miner was organised at the Govt Degree College, Pulwama on January 11, 2024 by the Division of Entomology, Faculty of Horticulture, Sher-E-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology-Kashmir. The event was sponsored under HADP project- ‘Minimisation of Pesticide Use in Agriculture’. The Director Agriculture, Shalimar University said that punctures on apples are made by the incursion of fruitflies. To stop that an initiative was taken for thermal trapping. We spray chemicals on plants for their growth. We decoded that chemical and inserted it in the thermal trap that we manufactured at Shalimar University and as Director Agriculture we distributed the traps in district Shopian and Kulgam. Today, we are distributing the thermal trap in the district of Pulwama, said the Agriculture Director, Shalimar University at the farmers awareness and training camp held in Pulwama. This is a very good programme from the Horticulture department. We learnt a lot about the diseases occurring in our apple orchards, said a farmer. We were told what to do, what not to do, which medicine to use, when to use. We are very thankful to the government who invited us today in this programme. Govt has taken very quick steps. I think such programs from the agriculture, horticulture departments and block level should be conducted in every village. There should be awareness everywhere, said an apple orchard owner. Our future generation will be incentivised to settle in this industry and it is a big industry, said another farmer. Here, those young people who are looking for a job, if they want a job then instead of doing a job for Rs 10,000, it is better to use this information and work in their fields to grow better quality fruits and crops. Use technology and earn from it and get employed, the farmer said. Then you will be able to employ ten more people. I request the orchard owners and landowners that whenever they have any problem, they should contact the SKUAST, Horticulture Department and Agriculture Department. I am very grateful for this awareness camp in Pulwama, said another farmer. Actually, the orchard owners are unaware about this leaf miner disease. They do not know which medicine to use and when and how to use. They used to face a lot of losses because of the leaf miner disease. Now attending this programme has made us aware that when we notice the beginning of this disease we will know which medicine to use first to keep our orchards free from harmful insects. Dr Basharat Qayoom, DC Pulwama said at the farmers’ awareness programme that some pests develop resistance to insecticides. So it was necessary to make the farmers aware how to safeguard their orchards. He announced that the horticulture department in collaboration with agriculture colleges like SKUAST will organise regular onsite awareness training camps to show how to control the pests to facilitate the farmers.