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‘Seeds of chaffy grains not provided by Agriculture Dept’
Correspondent
 GOALPARA, June 13 - A joint team of officials from the district Agricultural Department as well as from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Dudhnoi recently visited some cluster summer paddy cultivating villages like Ambari, Podupara, Kalpani, Chandamari and Fofonga from where complaints of chaffy grains were reported recently. Contrary to some reports appearing in a section of media, Dr Hitu Choudhury of KVK, Dudhnoi while talking to this correspondent said that the joint team after a field inspection observed that the summer variety paddy ‘JKRF-3333’ provided by the Department under BGREI scheme has been successfully grown in different parts of the district where the growth and other yield attributes have been found satisfactory. However, sporadic infestation of blast disease, bacterial leaf blight (BLB) and stem borer attack were observed in some plots which is far below the Economic Threshold Level (ETL).

Dr Choudhury informed that the cases of chaffy grains are related to cultivation of another paddy variety ‘PAN-815’ which the farmers purchased from local retail seed dealers on their own choice. He also said that after interaction with the farmers whose crops were affected, the joint team found that the said variety ‘PAN-815’ performed bumper yield producing around 32 maunds /bigha last year in this season. These farmers used this aforesaid variety in expectation of higher yield this year too. However, the crop suffered from heavy infestation of blast (neck & leaf), BLB and false smut which has affected the yield quite drastically. Dr Choudhury also pointed out that the seeds used by these farmers were neither provided nor recommended by the Agriculture Department, KVK nor AAU.

The joint team also found out that ‘PAN-815’ has been performing well in some plots too but some of the reasons that can be attributed are that this year rainfall and distribution is not similar to that of last year. Also, heavy rainfall followed by drizzling encourages diseases like the infestation of blast and false smut during the flowering stage. Also, different dates of transplantation followed by the farmers and injudicious use of nitrogen fertilisers encourage infestation of certain plant diseases.

The joint team also urged the farmers not to use seeds from unknown sources which may not be suitable for a particular ecosystem and they should have prior discussion with the officials of the Agriculture Department and the KVK prior to selecting a new seed variety. The team members also recommended that the farmers should follow best packages and practices in order to get high returns while officials were requested to create more awareness about PMFBY to compensate the loss in future. The Joint team also warned all the agro input dealers and retailers in the district not to provide non-recommended technology to the farmers in the future.

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