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.