The agriculture department failed to supply farmers with fungicide, when more than 600 acres of wheat crop in the district had been hit by the yellow rust disease in January.
Now, even as the disease has damaged a large portion of the crop, the department received the 5,000 litres of fungicide Propoconizole from the state agriculture department and thought it fit to distribute to the farmers.
However, farmers point out that with the rise in temperature, the disease was no longer a threat.
Some have even branded the distribution as a joke. "It is now harvesting season. What use is any medicine now? The department's help is just a formality," said a farmer.
Speaking with HT, farmer Sohan Singh of Chankoa village in Saroya block, said: "It is a poor joke with us. Farmers are already a stressed lot as we had to tackle the disease by our own efforts. The disease has hit the quality of the grains and we are also likely to get less money for our produce."
Joga Singh, a farmer in Kaulgarh village in Saroya block, said: "We have been insulted and the department should have been more helpful when needed. When the disease attacked my wheat crop, I contacted the agriculture department and they told me to buy the fungicide from the market."
He claimed that he purchased 9 litre fungicide from the market at the cost of Rs. 9,000 and saved his crop.
District chief agriculture officer Sarbjeet Singh Kandhari said, "It is correct that the supply of the fungicide was delayed. The disease has vanished due to the rise in temperature."
He claimed that the department had distributed 5,000 litre fungicide in villages that fall in Balachaur and Saroya blocks, as these were the areas that were the most affected by the fungal disease.
He claimed that the fungicide could help in improving the shine of the grain or it can be stored for the next season, a suggestion farmers will not like.