After the hue and cry over pest attacks on paddy crops across the State, farmers in Nuagaon block alleged that the standing vegetable crops  had got infested with pests and fungus due to the prolonged.

ROURKELA:After the hue and cry over pest attacks on paddy crops across the State, farmers in Nuagaon block alleged that the standing vegetable crops  had got infested with pests and fungus due to the prolonged prevalence of overcast conditions in the region.

Incidentally, the attacks had come close on the heels of tomato crops suffering from wilting disease. Barely three weeks back, 30 to 40 per cent of tomato crops were reportedly damaged.
“With low-pressure induced overcast condition prevailing in the region for the past five to six days, the temperature variations have enhanced the breeding capacities of pests and fungus. Due to this,  vegetable plants are witnessing rotting of leaves and stems,” horticulture officers said.

“While tomatoes, brinjal, cabbage and cauliflower plants have been witnessing the initial stages of fungus and pest attacks, so far reports of attack on capsicum haven’t cropped up,” they added.
“I have cultivated cauliflower and cabbage over half-an-acre and tomato on another acre. However, signs of pest and fungus attacks have been detected on the standing crop,” Manuel Xalxo, a farmer of Karimati village, said.

Panposh Assistant Director of Horticulture (ADH) S P Nayak said the the department was keeping a close watch on the situation. “We are advising farmers to start blanket spraying of pesticide and fungicide twice a week and later reduce it to once a week,” he said.

Nuagaon Block Chairman Maklu Ekka, who himself is a farmer, said spraying of pesticide and fungicide would not help until there is adequate sunlight.“Small and marginal farmers are facing the real problem as after investing in kharif paddy crops, they have turned to vegetable crops. However, they do not have money for spraying pesticide and fungicide,” horticulture officials added.

The Block Chairman said areas including Joketa, Goldaru, Karimati,Barilepta, Garda, Sorda, Katepur, Banki, Jhariatola and Limda were reeling under incidents of pest attacks on tomatoes, cabbages and cauliflower crops.

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