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1.10 Lakh Hectares Pest-Damage in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Agriculture minister Damodar Rout said that, more than 1.10 lakh hectares of paddy crop stands damaged by pests in 16 districts. The minister said that, according to quoting preliminary survey by his department, 34,619 hectare of the standing crop is worst-hit. So far, pest control is being done in around 68,000 hectares.

As only four districts such as Bargarh, Sambalpur, Sonepur and Nuapada have submitted their final reports, the loss figure may go up. The assessment is still on in the rest.

Damodar told reporters, "a high-level meeting has been convened by revenue minister Maheswar Mohanty to examine the reports in details. The revenue department will announce a package according to the state disaster response fund norms. Farmers suffering at least 33% damage will get compensation."

The minister informed that, technical teams from Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and director of agriculture, who were sent to severely pest affected districts, are still on the fields.

He also said that, besides, field staffs of the agriculture department are holding farmers meet in pest-affected areas regarding proper use of pesticides and spraying techniques. Despite series of government interventions, farmers continued to torch their paddy crop.

Due to drought around 3.15 lakh hectares crop in 70 blocks across 15 districts had been damaged for which the state government has already announced package.


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