Kendrapara, Nov 17 (LocalWire): The farmers are fearing huge losses as ‘Kalimundi’ insects are ruining the recently planted saplings of Rabi crops in several villages of Mahakalapada block in Kendrapara district.
The worst affected villages include Pattamundai, Garadapur , Rajkanika, Aul, Derabishi, and Rajanagar, where swarms of insects have destroyed most black-grams (Mung), green-grams (Biri) saplings and vegetables planted along large tracts.
The farmers said there has been no help from district administration yet, while most crops in the area have been destroyed.
The farmers, who could afford the costly fight against the pests, now hope to reap less than one-eighth of their usual harvest.
The first batch of pests arrived last month, said Krusak Sabha district secretary Gayadhar Dhal.
Almost all farmlands in Raghudeipur, Belarapur, Bhujabala, Netua and Nolasahi villages have turned white from their usual leafy green, said Dhal.
Patarapur farmer Jitendra Rout, who cultivated Mung over three acres of land, said: “I was planning to harvest the Mung in December.
But the pests have eaten major chunks of the saplings. I tried everything to control it and failed. The pests are spreading rapidly.”
“I grew tomatoes on one acre land. But the pests have damaged most of the vegetables, said Parikhita Mallick of Bharatapur.
Nolasahi farmer Uchaba Barik said several pleas have been made to the district officials, but all in vain.
Meanwhile, Kendrapara agricultural department Deputy Director Mitrodoya Das said the pest problem is “not an alarming situation at present”.
“We have directed all the block level agricultural officers to submit a report after visiting the insect-affected fields. After getting the report, we will surely help the farmers,” said Das.
“We are also providing 50% subsidized pesticides to the farmers,” he said.