The News Scroll 05 November 2017  Last Updated at 3:19 pm | Source: PTI

NRRI team to assess crop loss by pest attacks

NRRI team to assess crop loss by pest attacks

Berhampur (Odisha), Nov 5 (PTI) A team of experts from the National Rice Research Institute (NRRI), Cuttack, is scheduled to review and assess the damage caused to crops because of pest attack in Ganjam district.

As Ganjam is one of the worst-affected districts due to massive pest attack in the state, experts of the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) have already reviewed the croploss on Friday, officials said.

They said crops on around 19,904 hectares of land were destroyed due to the insect attack. Crops on 13,009 hectares area were destroyed by brown plant hopper (BPH). Paddy was cultivated on 2.16 lakh hectares area in the district.

The NRRI team will soon visit the fields to asess the damage, said Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA), Ganjam, Manoj Behera.

They are likely to study the pesticides used by the farmers to control the pest menace, while the extent of damage due to pest attack would be known after getting reports from all blocks, he said.

Meanwhile, the state government is contemplating sending the pesticides used by the farmers for laboratory test to the Central Insecticides Laboratory (CIL), Faridabad, to ascertain their quality, officials said. Several farmers complained that the pesticides, which they used, were not effective.

A six-member expert team, led by Bhagaban Patra, professor in entromology department of OUAT, visited different blocks in the district and interacted with the farmers about the use of pesticides. "We'll submit our report to the government soon with some recommendations," said Patra after visiting the affected areas of Aska, Sorada, Bhanjanagar and Hinjili blocks.

Farmers in different areas staged demonstrations, displaying their damaged plants. They demanded compensation for the crop loss. Many farmers said they expected a bumper crop this year due to favourable climate, but all hopes were shattered due to the pest attack.

Bhubaneswar, Nov 5 (PTI) The Odisha government today said it would soon dole out compensation to farmers who have suffered crop losses due to pest attack.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will chair a meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation arising out of pest attack, an official said.

Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan today reviewed the situation during a high-level meeting here.

It was decided during the meeting that steps will be accelerated to tackle the situation and the affected farmers would be compensated according to the relief code, a senior official said.

The collectors and other officials of various districts provided information about the prevailing situation in their areas through video conferencing.

Balakrishnan said the situation was under control and there was no need to panic as the area under pest attack was not very large.

The district collectors have been asked to intensify awareness drives. Revenue officials, self help groups (SHGs) and grassroot level workers would be mobilised for the purpose, he said.

The state government has already given the nod for disbursal of assistance for rabi crop loss, he said.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupad Sethi said Rs 216 crore has been sanctioned for drought-affected farmers.

Experts at the meeting felt that the incidence of pest attack increased in some areas due to irregular rainfall and moisture content in the atmosphere, said an official.

Also, mixing of different insecticides, absence of proper gap between plants and excessive use of urea helped the pest spread, he said.

It is estimated that crops in about 1.78 lakh hectares of agricultural land in nine districts of Odisha have been attacked by pests, officials said.

Standing crops in 8,211 villages in 92 blocks and 19 urban local bodies in nine districts are reeling under pest attack, an official of the SRC office said.

Unable to control the attack of brown planthopper, many farmers have burnt their paddy crop in about 10 districts of the state.

P Nabin Kumar, a farmer of Bargarh district who had consumed pesticide last night, died during treatment at Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) today, officials said.

Opposition parties including the Congress and the BJP have mounted a scathing attack on the BJD government in the state over the issue.

They have alleged that distribution of spurious pesticides in many areas aggravated the problem.

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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