Chikiti: Farmers in Nuapada village under this block in Ganjam district are a worried lot as paddy crop on thousands of acre is facing threat from pest attack.
After incessant rainfall submerged farmlands and brought huge loss, pest attack on standing crop has come up as a fresh challenge for farmers now. While farmers are apprehensive about crop damage, the agriculture department sat pretty doing nothing to tackle the menace.
The unexpected scourge has added to the woes of farmers who have already incurred losses due to pest attack for last two years in the block. Farmers said due to pest attacks the paddy plants are wilting.
“This isn’t the first time pest attack has been reported here. It has been happening for last two years. But, no steps are being taken,” a farmer said. The pest problem is mostly acute in Chandpur and Lalmenta panchayats of this block.
Prakash Chandra Paramguru, a farmer of Deuliapada village, said the torrential rain battered several parts of the district. As a result, acres of farmland were filled with stagnant rainwater. This might be the reason of the pest attack, he added.
Although the farmers spray pesticides, it does not help, Paramguru said. In fear of the spread of pests, farmers have started uprooting the affected paddy saplings.
They lamented that the pest menace was fast spreading to adjoining panchayats. They said if immediate steps are not taken, paddy crop on hundreds of acres would be lost this year.
When contacted, agriculture officer Gokul Behera said he was unaware of the incident as no one has apprised him of the problem. The situation might have cropped due to excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer by farmers, he said, adding preventive steps would be taken after a field survey.