Kendrapara, Dec 6 (LocalWire): Fate of large numbers of paddy farmers of coastal district Kendrapara hangs in balance as brown plant hoppers (N . Lugens), locally called as Kalamundi pests, attacked crops in different parts of the district.
The pest attack is severe in Mahakalapada, Pattamundai, Garadapur, Rajkanika, Aul and Rajkanika areas, said Umesh Chandra Singh, president of district unit of Krusaka Sabha.
“The climate change is also one of the reasons behind arrival of brown plant hoppers in the district. They are socking the cell sap of paddy on the fields, as a result farmers are suffering,” said Kendrapara agricultural department Deputy Director M. Das.
As per an estimate prepared by the Agriculture Department, yield of paddy crop is likely to come down in the district due to pest attack at harvesting time.
“To avoid spread of pest attacks, paddy farmers should keep frequent watch on the crop and in case of any symptom, they should remove the affected portion and destroy it,” said Das.
He further said the growers can stop spread of the disease by sprinkling prescribed pesticides.
“We have distributed around ten thousand leaflets and organized many awareness camps in the villages and trained farmers to use prescribed pesticides properly,” said Das.
Patkura farmer Giridhar Das, who cultivated paddy on his three acres land, said: “I was planning to harvest the ripened paddy crops within a week. But pests have eaten major chunks of the crops. I tried everything to control it and failed. The pest is spreading rapidly.”
“We have never seen such types of pests before. Hence, we are worried. The government should give compensation to the affected farmers,” said Madhaba Das, a farmers’ leader of Kendrapara.
On Tuesday, many affected farmers met the district collector and requested him to help them.
“I have instructed agricultural officers to take steps to control the pest attack,” said Kendrapara district collector Dasarathi Satapathy.