Parasitic fruit fly damaging guava in Kohat orchards

Published November 21, 2021
This file photo shows a damaged guava. — Dawn
This file photo shows a damaged guava. — Dawn

KOHAT: The city’s famous guava orchards spread over about 1,700 acres have been damaged by a common parasitic fruit fly, resulting in big financial losses to the local farmers.

When contacted, director agriculture Zahir Ullah Khattak said that the crop had been affected in areas, including Nasratkhel, Kaghazai, Mohammadzai, Shahpur, Jarwanda, Chakarkot, Garhijaat near Kohat Toi and in orchards located near Hangu and Bannu bypasses and Rawalpindi Road.

He said the major reason for the damage was the transfer of flies from unsprayed orchards to the sprayed ones. He said he had been inviting the orchard owners for a meeting to distribute pumps and pesticide swabs for hanging so that all the orchards could be sprayed at a time, but they did not cooperate.

He said when the fly stung the fruit the eggs inside it became worms after completing the 21-day cycle, meaning the orchard affected in September would give fruit full with worms in October and so on. He said spraying the orchards at a time was the permanent remedy.

Official identifies areas where crop has been affected

Mr Khattak said they used to send the report of damage to their headquarters in Peshawar in such cases, but the farmers were never helped. He said most of the guava trees crossed their age limit of 40 years and had lost resistance to diseases.

JOURNALISTS SLAM BAN: The journalist community here on Saturday adopted a unanimous resolution, demanding immediate lifting of ban on the entry of the press club and union members into the Liaquat Memorial Hospital.

Kohat Union of Journalists president Farhan Bangash said in a statement that the hospital MS Dr Gul-e-Rana had imposed a complete ban on the entry of the press club members.

He pointed out that the government had banned the entry of social media activists in hospitals, government offices, interviews of officials and journalists without accreditation cards.

He stated that the MS sent a WhatsApp message to him, informing him about the ban and a big notice pasted in this regard outside the hospital.

“When I called her to know about the reason for the ban, she replied that the order has been issued by the provincial government. A number of journalists have been expelled from the hospital in past two days,” Mr Bangash stated.

At an emergency meeting held at Kohat Press Club on Saturday, the journalists said the MS did not understand the order and treated all journalists equally.

When contacted, she again sent a WhatsApp message to the union president that entry of all journalists, including press club and union members, had been banned.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2021

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