Untimely spells of torrential rain, insects, and sudden raid by the Dalma range elephants have damaged at least 40 per cent of the pre-harvest crop during the Amon paddy season in several blocks in Burdwan East.
The district authorities dispatched a composite report on the ‘extensive’ crop damage in 17 high-yielding blocks to the state secretariat today, seeking adequate compensation against the crop loss. In the 17 blocks mentioned in the report, farmers had cultivated Amon paddy in 2.70 lakh hectares of farmlands this season but the respective blocks have already recorded a collective crop loss in 1.24 lakh hectares.
“The crop destruction by the insects like yellow and purple rice stem-borer and the hooded hopper is continuing. We’ve suggested to the farmers to collect the already fallen crops since spraying of pesticides won’t be of any help now,” said Jagannath Chatterjee, deputy director of agriculture in Burdwan East. Blocks like Manteswar, Khandaghosh, Ausgram, Galsi, Memari are struggling against insect attacks. Ausgram and Galsi suffered crop damage caused by a herd of 48 elements.
“The unexpected rain in multiple phases, since August, has adversely impacted cultivation. Today we inspected some affected croplands in Bhatar block,” said Mohammed Ismail, karmadhyaksha for agriculture in Burdwan East Zilla Parishad.
Block agricultural officials visited few villages in Khandaghosh block which had sowed Aman on 20,500 hectares in 111 villages. The pests alone damaged paddy in 1000 hectares. In Memari, 2,3000 hectares of paddy were affected. In Galsi-2 block, 10,000 hectares of crops got damaged while in Galsi-I block 9500 hectares are affected. Manteswar witnessed substantial crop loss on 13400 hectares against the cultivation of 21350 hectares in 144 villages.