NALBARI, Aug 24 - After the devastating floods which hit the area recently, the farmers in Nalbari district who grew sali crops have suffered another setback due to stem borer and leaf folder attacks in large areas. Thousands of hectare of sali paddy have come under this new attack of pests. The farmers in the district have become helpless as the Agriculture department has taken no step to control this large-scale pest attack.
The pests locally known as pat meruwa (leaf folder) and moza khowa (stem borer) and has affected sali paddy on a large scale in the district. The farmers of Barbhag, Khatikuchi, Panigaon, Mukalmua, Chamata, Tihu, Ghograpar, Dhamdhama have been facing a lot of problems in managing the severe attack of the pests which have covered large areas of sali paddy within a short time. The farmers alleged that though they have approached the district Agriculture department they have not succeeded in getting any help so far. The helpless farmers have been trying to control the pests, spraying pesticides on their own.
While talking to this correspondent, Dr Mridul Deka, scientist of Nalbari KVK under AAU, Jorhat said that the menace of stem borer and leaf folder has become a serious problem in the district. �Though the problem of leaf folder will get over when the plant matures, but the stem borer�s attack will destroy the plant even after the flowering stage and will reduce the productivity subsequently,� Dr Deka added. He also visited paddy fields to get first-hand knowledge of the affect of this pest and advised the farmers to spray pesticides to overcome the situation. He further added that as the stem borers can destroy paddy fields at any stage of the plant from seedling to maturity, the farmers should be more serious to control them. When the pests attack, the plants turn yellow and gradually dry up. Dr Deka said that in order to manage the pests the farmers should spray �Hamla 550� or �Fipronil� available in the markets of Nalbari district. He advised the farmers to mix 2 ml of the medicine per litre of water and spray 60 to 70 litres per bigha of land to control the dreaded pests.