Caterpillars damage paddy crop in Jharkhand

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Palamu (Jharkhand), Aug 31(ANI): First it was drought and now it is swarming caterpillars, which are adding to the woes of the paddy farmers in Jharkhand's Palamu district.

The farmers in the region are worried as the caterpillars are devouring the paddy plants and have spread across acres of paddy fields, and it is feared that almost 60 to 70 percent of the crop have been damaged.

"There has been drought, we were already thinking about fending for our living. And, now the caterpillars have destroyed the crop. We fear dying of hunger. We are facing a very tough situation," said Manraj Singh, a farmer.

Out of the total 48,400 hectares of land under paddy in the region only 14.5 percent was sown due to the lack of water and now the caterpillar is eating up whatever was sown.

"Only 14.5 percent of the area has been sown this year. In Palamu district, the total area under paddy cultivation is almost 48,400 hectares, out of which only 14.5 has been sown. Firstly there was a water problem ad now the plants have been infested by a pest called swarming caterpillar," said D.N Singh, an agriculture scientist.

The farmers also complain of Government lack of concern over the matter and feel they have no help from anywhere in such gloomy situation. By Girija Shankar Ojha (ANI)

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