Sunday, 20 June, 2021

Neck blast leaves Jhapa paddy farmers nervous


By Our Correspondent
Damak, June 9: Farmers in Kamal Rural Municipality of Jhapa and southern part of Damak have been worried due to neck blast disease.
According to the farmers, the disease is caused by the fungus when the paddy is ripening. In Jhapa, there is a problem of neck blast disease every year.
It can affect all above-ground parts of a rice plant--leaf, collar, node, neck, parts of panicle, and sometimes leaf sheath.
Farmers of Kamal Rural Municipality can benefit from the insurance of paddy, said Mahendra Bohora, Chief of Agriculture Section of the Municipality.
The farmers had insured the paddy crop after the government provided 75 per cent of the crop insurance and the Rural Municipality provided additional required amount to the farmers.
Farmers said that they have suffered more due to lack of easy access to technicians and inability to get medical treatment due to the prohibitory order.
Many farmers have not been able to reap benefits of early paddy as rice does not grow properly and falls on the field.
According to Bhangasingh Rai, a farmer of Ward 10, the paddy planted in 15 katthas of land has been damaged badly.
He said that it is difficult to grow even 10 mans (40 kgs) of paddy this year while last year up to 45 mans of paddy had been grown from the same land.
Another farmer Keshab Neupane said that farmers, including him, could not collect paddy due to diseases.
He said that the problem was not solved even after applying the required pesticides three times.
According to agricultural technicians, it is very difficult to control the disease as it is contagious and spreads quickly.
According to Nil Kamal Singh, chief of Agriculture Knowledge Centre Jhapa, there is a problem in some municipalities.
He said that it is a big challenge to control the disease after it is transmitted through seeds.
According to him, work is underway in Damak Municipality, Gauradaha Municipality and Kamal Rural Municipality to solve the issue of neck blast by coordinating with the agricultural technicians there.
In Jhapa, early paddy is cultivated in about 20,000 hectares of land.