HAILAKANDI, Sept 20 - Following armyworm infestation in some croplands of Hailakandi district, Deputy Commissioner Moloy Bora recently visited Boalipar, Shahidbond, Lakhirbond Part-I and Bahadurpur Part-I to make an on-the-spot assessment of the measures taken by the agriculture officials at the field level to relieve the affected farmers, an official release stated.
The DC who was accompanied by a team of district agriculture officials, circle officers and KVK personnel, distributed pesticides and spraying machines among the affected farmers.
Interacting with the affected farmers, Deputy Commissioner Bora urged them to go in for plantation of worm- resistant plants and to put bamboo stalks and bushes in between the affected paddy fields to attract worm-devouring birds to help contain the menace from spreading to newer areas.
In the wake of resistance faced by the district agriculture officials and KVK personnel from affected farmers from spraying pesticide under the notion that it would further harm the croplands, the Deputy Commissioner took pains to prevail upon them (affected farmers) to extend full cooperation and support in carrying out the spraying operation for their greater interest. In this regard, Bora appealed to the media to create awareness among the affected farmers that spraying of pesticide would not cause any damage to their farmlands and would help to save them from the swarming caterpillars.
Bora exuded optimism that the infestation would be brought under control within a short span of time.
On Friday, Deputy Commissioner Bora while chairing the District Development Committee meeting reviewed the situation and directed the officials of the District Agriculture Department to make field visits and to take immediate remedial measures to contain the pest menace.
Bora directed the officials to attend to the distress calls of the affected farmers and to provide pesticide and spraying machines to contain the menace on a war footing. The DC appealed to the farmers to report any incidents of pest attack for necessary action.
As a sequel to the meeting, a helpline has been set up in the Office of the District Agriculture Department to provide necessary inputs and assistance to the farmers to tide over the situation. The helpline - 03844-225350 - will remain in operation from 10 am to 6 pm (including holidays) till the situation becomes normal.
Meanwhile, according to a report emanating from the District Agriculture Office, a total of 101 hectares of land have come under the attack of pests, thereby affecting 461 farmers so far.