After paddy now tasar farming under pest menace

Keonjhar: While the suffering of paddy farmers due to the pest menace is yet to get over, damage by pests is haunting tasar silk farmers in Kasia village of Malada panchayat under Jhumpura block here in the district.

According to sources, majority of the villagers are tribal farmers and nearly 70 farmers of the village depend on tasar silk farming. Expecting a good yield the farmers started farming four months ago but the pest menace has created panic among the farmers in the area.

“We brought cocoons and pesticide from Jhumpra society. We used pesticides as per their directives but the cocoons died before developing,” said Mangla Barua, a farmer.

Nearly 90% of the cocoons has reportedly been damaged due to the use of low quality pesticide on the crops as the silk worms in the crop were hampered by the use of it, alleged farmers.

According to reports, farmers purchased 200 gms of cocoons for Rs 1000 from Jhumpura Society. But, much before developing, the silk worm reportedly died leading to losses for farmers of tasar silk in the area.

The farmers further alleged, neither any provisional help is being provided to them from the government nor their farming can be covered by insurance.

“We will try our best to provide help to the tasar farmers because if the tasar farmers suffer loss Agriculture department cannot help them as they don’t come under the department. If any information regarding loss of tasar farmers reaches us we will discuss and try providing help,” said Dama Rout, Agriculture Minister.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of Silk Industry has assured help for the farmers.

“If the farmers would have informed us when the cocoons started getting damaged, we could have arranged compensation for them, but now the manufacturing of the cocoons has stopped. We will file a proposal near the higher administration to provide compensation to the farmers,” said Lakshman Munda, Deputy Director, Silk Industry.