GUWAHATI, Sept 15 - Agriculture Minister Atul Bora today said that even though the invasion by the rice swarming caterpillar has spread to 22 districts covering a total 30,204 hectares of cropland, the situation “is under control and there is no reason to panic.”
Addressing a press conference, Bora said stocks of pesticides are sufficient and dispatched to all the affected areas, and the pest-control exercise is continuing on a war-footing.
“The situation is under control and farmers have been asked to report immediately about any presence of the army worm in their fields. The affected area so far is 30,204 hectares, which is 1.6 per cent of the total Sali crop area of 18.76 lakh hectares,” he said, adding that over one lakh of the State’s 27 lakh farmers have been affected.
The agriculture department has also set up a control room at the Directorate of Agriculture, Khanapara, in order to help the farming community to control the attack by army worm or rice swarming caterpillar on winter paddy.
The control room is being run by the Joint Director of Agriculture (Plant Protection) and assisted by the Pest Surveillance Officer of the Directorate. Farmers can contact the control room at mobile numbers 9854338572 and 94355 43404 for relevant information relating to pest attack and control.