Nagpur: This year initially due to bad rain, subsequently pesticide spraying poisoning crisis, now There are alarming reports of sudden surge in pink bollworm and other pest attack on standing crops of cotton, soybean, paddy, pluses in dying field of Vidarbha and Marathwada. Initial estimates put the loss to state’s cotton economy to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore.
“The crop was days away from harvest which normally starts just after Diwali. But this year crop failed to rupture.in the cotton field Anxious farmers, who manually opened the bolls, were aghast to see pink bollworms in abundance.
The situation is unprecedented and looks like more than 50% of crop would now be lost to the worms that should not have attacked the genetically modified Bt cotton at all,” said Kishore Tiwari, chairman of Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalamban Mission, the state-run task force on farm distress.
Tiwari, after touring parts affected fields in the region, has written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis alerting him about the situation. “In some fields, there is total damage. I have reports of farmers complete vidarbha and marathwada about flattening the cotton crop using tractors as there was little hope of salvaging yield,” said Tiwari.
The damage in some of the fields is up to 80-90%. He said there was little chance of saving the crop as chemical pesticides are also not available in the market because of recent scare and deaths caused by contact poisoning during spraying in fields.
onthe one hand there is huge damage to crop in the region, distress sale of agricultural commodities like cotton, soyabean and pluses are being sold much below minimum support price as state and central Govt’s market intervention too low to hold prices due to stringent norms for the procurements hence we demand relaxation of procurements norms to stop the distress sale which is adding fuel in the ongoing agrarian crisis resulting in farmers suicides, Tiwari urged.
Tiwari said he had cautioned the government at the end of August about likelihood of pink bollworm attack as the Bt seeds had become resistant to it. In May, the then Maharashtra Govt. had written to the Centre on the need to review approval given to the Bt cotton. Apparently, their pleas went unheard and now farmers are staring at damage and devastation.
farmers in farm suicide prone region of vidarbha and marathwada are very much annoyed with present attitude of noncooperation of administration who is turning blind eye to much blown crisis of agrarian economy as state has been failed to give relief in the areas of credit, crop protection and cost restoration resulting in the panic situation hence we are asking for the urgent intervention, Tiwari added.