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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With farmers continuing to set their pest-infested crops on fire in various districts, Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout today urged the distressed farmers not to torch their standing crops since paddy is considered as goddess Laxmi.

Speaking to mediapersons, the Minister said, "Farming is the main occupation of the state that believes in Jagannath culture.  We worship goddess Laxmi for good harvest of rice. Setting fire to the crops is like showing disrespect to the goddess."

Besides, the Minister assured that stern action would be taken against persons who are selling duplicate pesticides that are damaging the crops. He further said, "A three-member team of the Agriculture Department has visited the affected villages to take stock of the situation. A discussion will be held on the future course of action to check the pest menace once the team is back." Besides, steps will be taken to prevent recurrence of similar incidents in future, Rout added.

The BJD leader told the media that he will not give any political statement until and unless the issue is solved.

It may be mentioned here that this week, farmers from Sambalpur,Bargarh, Rayagada and Ganjam districts have torched their crops damaged by pests.


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