Mrunal Manmay Dash

A farmer in Bubel village under Bolangir’s Puintala block allegedly ended his life by consuming poison over reported crop loss due to pest infestation.

The deceased has been identified as Ramesh Bhoi.

As per reports, Bhoi consumed poison while spraying pesticide on his crop on Tuesday night. He was rushed to Bolangir Bhima Bhoi Medical for treatment, where he breathed his last on Wednesday morning.

Sources said, at least five acres of paddy out of his 10 acres were infested by ‘Chakada’ pest. His family alleged that he was depressed over the crop loss and ended his life.

“Jayabharat Bhoi, cousin of the deceased, said, “My brother had grown paddy on 10 acres of his farmland. However, Chakada pest destroyed almost half of his crop. He had sprayed pesticides three times, but in vain. Depressed over the crop loss, he consumed poison last night.”

The family of the deceased alleged that neither the district administration nor the block office took any steps to keep the pests away from crops. The officials from the agriculture department never come or extend any help to the farmers, he alleged.

“No Krishak Sathi has ever advised us on farming or killing pests. When pests infest our crop, we go to the pesticide shop and buy whatever the shopkeeper gives us,” said Bhoi’s brother.

Expressing his anger, a local said, "It has become a common tragic story of paddy farmers in Odisha who take loans, grow paddy, spray pesticide but lose their crop to pest, then consume poison, die, and the same story continues."

The state government should look into the farmers' issues seriously, he added.

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