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Pests Damage 28,000 Hectares Of Paddy Across 15 Districts Of State

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GUWAHATI, Nov 19: More than 28,000 hectares of paddy across 15 districts of Assam have been damaged by a specific kind of caterpillar, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.

The state agriculture department has supplied necessary pesticides and sprayers to contain the spread of the rice ear-cutting caterpillar or mythimna separata, the chief minister’s office (CMO) said in a post on X.

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“This pest has affected over 28,000 Ha of paddy cultivation in over 15 districts,” it added.

Sarma has chaired a high-level meeting to curb the infestation and issued advisories to all the stakeholders, the CMO said.

“We are constantly monitoring this infestation. Along with implementing mitigation guidelines, I have also instructed our officers to ensure affected farmers get all the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana,” Sarma said while sharing the CMO’s post.

The CMO also said that awareness among the public will be created regarding it.

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The state directorate of agriculture has sent advisories to all the district agriculture officers (DAOs) for taking action and requested them to submit a further requisition for chemicals if needed, it said.

“Video conferencing with all DAOs regarding pest monitoring and control measures undertaken… Advised to adopt local indigenous technologies,” it added.

The CMO said that all district commissioners have been asked to ensure strict implementation of the directions.

“In order to prevent pest infestation in Rabi crops like maize, potato, etc, crop-specific pesticides are to be applied during the vegetative growth stage,” it said, adding that early harvesting should be undertaken. (PTI)

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