A ‘new and dangerous’ strain of infection has emerged to threaten our food security. Read on:
Standing wheat of about 400 hectare were being cut and burnt in two blocks of Nadia district after a suspected fungal infection affected the crop, a senior district agriculture official said on Sunday (Mar 5).
The infected plants in Tehatta and Chapra areas were being destroyed to check the disease from spreading, following the advice of a team of experts from union agriculture ministry that visited the fields on Thursday.
The experts also advised the farmers to spray medicines on less affected fields, the official said adding that the affected farmers would get a compensation of Rs 50,375 per hectare.
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The disease causes the spikelets turn golden in colour but without any seed inside.
Samples have been sent to a government laboratory in Calcutta for testing, the official said.
As both the affected areas, Tehatta and Chapra, are close to Bangladesh border, it was to be seen if the germ is coming from across the border, he said.
The same disease had affected some farmers last year too, he said adding that when it came to the notice of the department this year, they informed their superiors following which the central team visited the affected areas.
The affected land was first identified and then the officials made the farmers understand about the necessity to destroy the plants, and then they were cut and burnt.