BHUBANESWAR: Members of BJP expressed concern over pest attack on paddy crops in Sambalpur district. Raising the issue in the Assembly during zero hour, Rabi Narayan Naik of the BJP said pest menance has returned to the State which saw large scale crop damage in many parts of Western Odisha last year leading to farmers suicide.
Claiming that paddy crops in about 1500 hectares of land in Rengali, Dhankauda and Maneswar blocks of Sambalpur district have been affected by Brown Planthopper or ‘Chakada Poka’, Naik said the pesticides available in local market is not effective. Affected farmers do not know what to do as they are not getting proper advise from the local field officials of the Agriculture Department.
Seeking the attention of the Speaker, the BJP MLA said direction must be issued to the district administration for launching a massive awareness campaign among farmers and ensure supply of right kind of pesticides to the farmers.
Leader of the BJP legisalture party KV Singhdeo said the advisory issued by the Centre on how to deal with pest attack has not reached the district. The State Government has not taken the issue seriously. It seems that the Government has not learnt anything from last year’s pest attack which ended up with the farmers committing suicide, he said.
Echoing similar concern, BJP member Pradip Purohit cautioned that the farmers will take recourse to crop burning if the Government failed to take timely action to save the crops pest attack. Naik also drew the attention of the State Government to the plight of farmers of Jamankira block. Though farmers of the block are on dharna for the last 26 days demanding agricultural input subsidy and crop insurance, the district administration has failed to address the problems.