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Pest outbreak threatens crop loss in Kalahandi

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stem borer
Bhawanipatna, Oct 9:
Though drought prone Kalahandi district is expecting a bumper crop during this kharif season, pests are attacking paddy and non-paddy crops in the region, official sources said.
“Outbreak of pest in paddy and non paddy crops in the last one month has raised apprehensions about the prospects of Kharif paddy and non paddy crops in the district,” an official said.
As per the latest assessment by Agriculture department in the district this week end, incidence of pest infection have been noticed in paddy and non paddy crops in about 20,500 hectares of land in the district due to congenial climatic condition.
The report says 90 per cent of this affected areas is in paddy crop. The worst affected blocks are Jaipatna, Junagarh, Koksara, Bhawanipatna, Kesinga, Narla blocks.
While stem borer, case worm, sheth, blight, BPH, leaf folder and Blast varieties of pests have affected paddy crops, pests like Aphid, Jassid, Leaf minor, White fly and Mealy bug have been noticed in crops like Cotton, Arhar and vegetables.
While the farmers fear loss of crop due to pest attack, there has been no assistance from the state government, farmers alleged. The role of Agriculture department is limited to rendering advice to farmers, they said.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Kailash Chandra Behera explained that field staffs of his department were on high alert and providing proper technical advice to farmers.
He said that the Directorate of Agriculture is periodically apprised of pest incidence. Last month, it was requested to allow diversion of Rs 50 lakh from National Food Security Mission (rice) from other heads to supply pesticides to farmers on subsidy.
Collector Kalahandi has also endorsed this proposal.
The permission of the directorate is awaited, he said. (PTI)