DHEMAJI, Sept 5 - The farmers of Dhemaji district are worried over large-scale pest attack on their paddy fields. Standing paddy (Sali) crops in 2,000 hectares in six circles of the district have reportedly been infested by pests, incurring heavy losses.
Sources from District Agriculture Office at Dhemaji paddy fields in Dhemaji, Bordoloni, Sissioborgaon, Gogamukh, Muchkhowa and Jonai circles, with Bordoloni being the worst affected. Paddy crops in more than 970 hectares have reportedly been affected in the circle (Bordololoni) by hispa and caterpillars.
Army worm infestation is rampant in Rayang-Bijoypur, Rajakhana and Siga panchayats under Jonai circle, where more than 60 hectares of sali cultivation has been affected.
Being failed to control the pest attack, the rural farmers of Siga Mising gaon recently offered puja to appease the deity as per their mythological belief. They were compelled to do so after both traditional and scientific insect pest controlling measures had reportedly failed.
The Agriculture Development Officers (ADO), who visited the affected crop fields to take stock of the situation, said the contrasting weather with high humidity is favouring the insects to grow rapidly.
The agriculture department has so far distributed 1,500 litres chemical pesticides among the affected farmers besides deploying its officials in the affected sites for conducting demonstration on scientific insect pest management. They are also organizing training on Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Meanwhile, State's Agriculture Minister Atul Bora recently visited the affected paddy fields in Sissiborgaon circle and took stock of the crop damage caused by insect pest.
The affected farmers including members of Dhemaji district unit Krishak Mukti Sangram Somiti have demanded the State government to grant special package for growing alternative crops to give them succour.
Moreover, the district agriculture department is introducing crop insurance under the PM�s Fasal Beema Yojana in Dhemaji district.
As many as 16,000 applications have been received with premium of Rs 1 against a bigha of the standing crops.
On the other hand, recurring flash flood collapsed more than 9,000 hectares standing crops in 430 villages in the district.