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Devbrat Patnaik

Deogarh: Already declared a drought-hit district, the worries of farmers in Deogarh are far from over with crops in hundreds of hectares of farmland on the verge of destruction allegedly due to the poor quality of pesticides being provided to them to fight the Brown Plant Hopper (Chakada Poka) menace.

As per reports, three blocks of the district were declared drought-hit by the State government recently. With situation worsening in other areas of the district, allegations of duplicate pesticides being distributed by the government have surfaced from Riamala block.

The farmers of Tinkabira panchayat here alleged that the pesticide provided by the government is duplicate, because of which hundreds of hectares of farmland have turned barren.

“Even though we have followed each process and sprayed pesticides as directed, the brown plant hoppers have remained stuck to the crops. This is quite depressing. We demand adequate compensation by the government for the crop loss we have incurred,” said Pabitra Mohan Sahu, Tinkabira farmer.

The collectors of the nine drought-hit districts have, however, been asked to conduct a village-wise enumeration of the affected-farmers so that compensation could be provided.

Meanwhile, District Agriculture assistant director Prashant Kumar Sahu though accepted that the crops have been damaged due to brown plant hoppers, however, denied the allegations of duplicate pesticides being made available to them.

As per reports, Odisha government has declared drought in nine districts- Bargarh, Bolangir, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Sambalpur, and Sundergarh.

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