JAGATSINGHPUR: Crop damage due to frequent natural calamities and pest attacks have hit the farmers below the belt in Jagatsinghpur district. Many of whom have taken crop loans to cultivate their farms are struggling to repay the money after the recent pest attack.
Hundreds of farmers of Erasama block, led by CPI leader Sashibhusan Swain, staged a demonstration and squatted in front of tehsil office on Wednesday demanding loan waiver and compensation against pest attack on paddy crop.
The farmers said just as they were thanking their fate for the survival of paddy crop on hundreds of acres of land after Titli cyclone, pest attack poured water on their hopes of reaping a good harvest. A thorough probe would help in ascertaining the losses and aid in compensation, they added.
Displaying the damaged paddy, farmers of Japa panchayat appealed the State Government to provide them compensation for the crop loss suffered after the recent downpour and flooding of fields.
The farmers requested the district administration to include officials of the Agriculture Department in the survey for estimating crop damage along with revenue officials.
Farmers Bansidhar Behera, Nibaran Nayak and others said “more than 90 per cent of standing paddy crop had suffered pest attack and is rotting in the inundated fields. The farmers are broke after the pest attack and are unable to repay the loan to cooperative societies. District administration should send a team to conduct an inquiry and inspect the loss we have suffered,” they added.
The farmers of Japa panchayat alleged that though their counterparts in other panchayats have received compensation towards crop damage after Phailin and Hud Hud, the government is yet to pay them. The farmers affected by Titli have demanded loan waiver and compensation towards crop loss due to pest attack.