A frightening swarm of lethal pests has devastated the rural Golakganj area in Assam’s Dhubri district, which is a troubling development.
The infestation has primarily targeted paddy fields situated in the villages of Jhapusabari PT 2 (under Ranpagli GP), Dighaltari (under Sonakhuli GP), Kaimari (Kaimari GP and Pogalagi (Pogalagi GP), and in Golakganj area of Dhubri District, leaving farmers grappling with the aftermath and raising concerns about the region’s agricultural sustainability.
The lush paddy fields, a lifeline for many villages in the Golakganj area, have fallen victim to the insatiable appetite of these pests, disrupting normal activities and plunging the farming community into turmoil. The swarms have voraciously devoured numerous bighas of ripened paddy crops, leaving once thriving fields in a state of devastation.
Expressing their frustration, farmers in Golakganj have alleged negligence on the part of the State Agriculture Department. Despite multiple notifications about the imminent threat, farmers claim that no action was taken to curb the pests invasion. Faced with the relentless onslaught, some farmers resorted to desperate measures, setting their fields ablaze in an attempt to eradicate the pests.
“We have no grains. We had reaped the harvest which was badly damaged by pests. After that we burnt them off. I have seven bighas of land, all of which was affected. We have not recieved any help from the government. The village council has also been of no help. We have burnt them as they have been damaged and nobody will buy them,” said a distraught farmer.
The economic toll on the farming community is palpable, with livelihoods hanging in the balance. Farmers, already grappling with the financial impact of the ongoing crisis, find themselves at a crossroads.
“After rice, we were planning to harvest maize, but the scale of this infestation is so massive that it will likely affect our farm lands for many seasons,” lamented another distressed farmer.
The use of pesticides, a common method to combat such agricultural pests, poses its own set of challenges. Farmers argue that resorting to pesticides could compromise the quality of farm products, creating a dilemma for those dependent on their yields for sustenance and income.
The scale of the calamity is staggering, with an estimated 300 to 400 acres of farmland in the rural areas of Golakganj bearing the brunt of the pest invasion. As the agricultural heart of the region quivers under the weight of this unexpected crisis, the immediate future looks uncertain for the farmers of Golakganj, emphasizing the need for swift and effective intervention to salvage what remains of the once-flourishing fields.