Pest attacks on Aman crops worries farmers in Lalmonirhat as the pesticides they were using were substandard and ineffective.
Abdur Rashid, 54, a farmer of Khochabari in Lalmonirhat, said half of the T-Aman he cultivated on three bighas of leased lands got damaged in pest attacks.
‘I sprayed pesticides thrice in the past ten days but there was no result,’ he added. Saidul Islam, 48, of Palashi in Aditmari, said he cultivated Aman on four bighas and three-fourth of it was attacked by pests. ‘I do not know how to prevent the attack as the pesticides are not working,’ he added.
Another farmer said leaves of paddy on two of his three bighas were getting reddish. ‘At the advice of the local agriculture department, I used different medicines but nothing worked,’ said Enamul Haque, 52, of the same village.
‘I used medicines after the paddy were attacked by different diseases. If I can check the attacks, I hope to get a bumper output, but it is totally uncertain,’ said Delowar Hossain, 55, of Hospitalpara in Aditmari.
Mantaz Ali, a farmer of Palashi, said most farmers were dependent on pesticides supplied by the sellers, who take advantage of farmers’ ignorance and sell substandard pesticides.
The traders earn huge profit by selling substandard pesticides, and the farmers were willing to buy those as they cost less than the standard pesticides, he said adding that the government should conduct drives against substandard pesticides.
Lutfar Rahman, a pesticide trader at Hajiganj Bazar in Aditmari, said he sells pesticides of many companies, but farmers always want to buy the cheapest.
‘It is true that many pesticide companies are marketing their substandard pesticides in villages,’ he added.
The district’s Department of Agriculture Extension deputy director Bidhubhushan Roy said Aman was cultivated on 84,259 hectares of land in five upazilas this season.
Paddy on around 9,000 hectares were totally damaged due to the recent floods, and affected farmers collected Aman saplings from adjacent districts and planted those on the damaged fields, he said.
He hoped the attacks would not affect the production but agreed that substandard pesticides flooded the local markets.
Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner Abu Jafor told New Age they would conduct mobile courts against sellers of substandard pesticides in the market.
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