Bhubaneswar:6/11/17; With brown planthopper affecting paddy cultivation in about 1.78 lakh hectares of agricultural land in the state, Odisha government today asked the collectors of 22 districts to take up pest management measures to prevent the further spread of pest attack.
The state government activated its machinery after pest attack reports were received from nine districts leading to burning of paddy crops and farmers allegedly committing suicide following crop loss.
“Take up activities expeditiously in the pest-affected areas. Wide publicity on pest management measures to be done in local radio and print media. Farmers may seek advice from Kissan Call Centre and seek specialist advice from experts of the directorate of agriculture,” Agriculture secretary Sourabh Garg wrote to the district collectors.
Meanwhile, a group of activists belonging to the Nava Nirman Yuva and Chhatra Sangathan forcibly entered the official residence of Agriculture minister Damodar Rout here while picketing against the govenrment’s alleged inaction in managing pest attack, the police said.
In the letter, the district collectors were asked to distribute leaflets among farmers and appoint nodal officers at the district/block level. The nodal officers would coordinate with field functionaries and ensure adequate supply and application of pesticide in the affected areas, the letter said.
The collectors were also asked to make farmers understand the negative impact of crop burning. At the same time, the farmers need to be apprised about the correct method of using pesticide and the facilities available for them for the next rabi crop, the letter said. The Odisha government had said yesterday that it would soon dole out compensation to farmers who have suffered crop losses due to pest attack.
The letters were sent to the collectors of Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Boudh, Cuttack, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khurda, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Puri, Rayagada and Sundergarh districts.