• Sunday, Nov 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:51 pm

Blast disease worries farmers in Naogaon

  • Published at 09:46 pm November 24th, 2019
paddy nogaon
Photo of a paddy field Dhaka Tribune

According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) of the upazila, 18,000 hectares of land have been used for cultivating different varieties of paddy in the upazila, during the current Aman season

Hundreds of farmers in Raninagar upazila of Naogaon district are going to incur heavy losses, as a vast stretch of paddy fields have been attacked with blast disease recently.

Farmers said they are using insecticides of several companies, prescribed by the upazila agriculture officials, to counter the attack of the blast disease. However, the efforts were in vain as paddy sheaves have started turning black right after sprouting, due to the disease which will affect the yield this season.

According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) of the upazila, 18,000 hectares of land have been used for cultivating different varieties of paddy in the upazila, during the current Aman season.

The villages where the infection of blast disease was detected are Bolidagachi, Girigram, Akna, Banshbaria, Jhina, Ronosingar, Khottreshor, Kalikgram, and Korojgram of the upazila.

Our correspondent visited the areas and spoke to several farmers, where most of them expressed their frustration.

Milon Hossain from Jhina village of the upazila said he had taken a loan of Tk 10,000 in order to cultivate paddy on two bighas of land, but it will be difficult for him to pay back the loan as his paddy field has been   attacked with the blast disease. 

Sakat Hossain from Kaligram village said that the blast attacked his paddy field of Katari-Bhog in spite of spraying the pesticides prescribed by the DAE officials.

Another farmer Suruj Mia from Ronosingar village said that his paddy field, comprising of three bigha of land, was infected with blast disease. He used insecticides of several companies, but to no avail, and it will decrease the production in the current season.

When contacted, Shahidul Islam, upazila agriculture officer, said: ''We are informed that, due to the unfavourable weather, a small portion of the upazila’s paddy fields was infected with the blast disease. In this regard, we are constantly providing advice to the farmers and have told them to contact the agriculture offices in case of any need.

“We hope the blast disease will not affect the paddy production too much,'' he added.

According to the Rice Knowledge Bank, rice blast is one of the most destructive diseases of rice. It is caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and can affect all parts of a rice plant above the ground: leaf, collar, node, neck, parts of panicle, and sometimes the leaf-sheath. 

It occurs in areas with low soil moisture, frequent and prolonged periods of rain showers, and cool temperature in the day and night. It reduces rice production to a great extent.

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