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Odisha government seeks report on crop loss due to pest attack

pic: biospectrumasia.com

Bhubaneswar: With farmers in parts of Odisha torching their pest-affected standing paddy crop, the state government on Thursday asked collectors of eight districts to submit a detailed report within two days on crop loss due to pest attacks.

The government has also issued a toll-free number — 1800-180-1551 — so as to respond promptly to the farmers seeking help.

After a farmer allegedly committed suicide due to crop loss following pest attack in Bargarh, the Revenue and Disaster Management Department asked the collectors of Bargarh, Bolangir, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Koraput, Nuapada, Sambalpur and Sonepur to submit reports on the quantum of crop lost to pests.

Additional Relief Commissioner Mihir Chand Mallick, in a letter, asked the district administrations to conduct joint field verification through the field functionaries of Revenue and Disaster Management, and Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment departments and submit the report.

They have been asked to furnish their reports, along with detailed information about the area under crop loss to the extent of 33 per cent and above, to the department within two days.

“The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) has instructed the collectors of eight major districts, where paddy crop is mostly affected with pests, to conduct a joint survey by the Revenue and Agriculture field staff to gauge the areas severely attacked by the pest. We expect the report within two days,” informed Agriculture Secretary Saurabh Garg.

He said the toll-free number issued for the distressed farmer would remain open from 6.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m.

“It’s a Kishan Call Centre. If any farmer is unable to tackle any problem being faced can at once call to this toll-free number for the solution, as it is manned by subject-matter specialists. Necessary calls can be diverted to the specialists for explaining to the farmer in distress,” said Garg. (IANS)