The Paddy farmer of the Jammu region, especially from the RS Pura sector are feeling helpless as their crop has been attacked by the ‘leaf folder’ in the last few days.
The paddy farmers, who already have lost the potential of their crop due to the late monsoon, are facing another problem of attack of leaf folder on their paddy crop.
Leaf Folder is a germ, which silently destroy the entire paddy crop in the farms.
The Paddy farmers of RS Pura, which is famous for its best quality Basmati rice, feel that they won’t be able to produce sufficient amount of Basmati this year, because of the late and deficient monsoon rain.
“We already had fewer crops this year due to late monsoon and heavy rain afterwards and now this leaf folder has destroyed more than half our crop,” said Girdhari Lal, a paddy farmer in RS Pura.
“We are producing the world famous Basmati rice, but this year the quantity of this quality will be very less,” he added.
The famous Basmati from the RS Pura sector will not reach the plate of the common man this year, as the less quantity will also increase the price of the basmati rice in the state.
Bharat Vijay Sharma, a farmer from Bishnah told HT, “On Saturday when I visited my farm, I saw that leaf folder was there at the crop, and more than 20% crop has been destroyed.”
“I had sprayed that pesticides in the farms, but don’t find any relief from the attack by the leaf folder, I am feeling helpless now,” he added.
The problems of the farmers are well known to the department of agriculture in the state.
Ajay Khajuria, director of agriculture told HT, “It has been spread out in last few days, and our officers are on their jobs to educate and help the farmers,” “There is a Pesticide namely ‘chlorpyrifos’, which can be used to get rid of leaf folder, we are providing it to the farmers at 50% subsidy,” he added.
There are more than two lakh families in the RS Pura, Bishnah and Marh areas who are cultivating only basmati.
“Last year I had produced more than 90 quintal of basmati from my 62 kanal of land, but this year it will not be more than 50 quintal,” said Kishore Sharma.
Monsoon rains are crucial for agriculture sector, which contributes about 15 per cent to the country's GDP, as only 40 per cent of the total cultivable area is under irrigation.