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Ear Head Cutting Caterpillar wreaks havoc in Assam, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma monitoring situation

First Published: 19th November, 2023 19:53 IST

The Chief Minister informed that adequate steps have been taken to deal with the situation and the affected farmers would be compensated.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa today allayed apprehensions among the farmers as the Ear Head Cutting Caterpillar (Mythimna Seperata) has infested several hectares of crops. The Chief Minister informed that adequate steps have been taken to deal with the situation and the affected farmers would be compensated.

It is an alarming situation indeed as at least 28,000 hectares of paddy cultivation has been affected by the caterpillar causing widespread damage to crops.

Highly concerned over the situation, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a post on X informed about the government steps taken to mitigate the issue as well as provide assistance to the affected farmers.
CM Sarma said, “We are constantly monitoring this infestation. Along with implementing mitigation guidelines, I have also instructed our officers to ensure affected farmers get all the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.”

On November 16 Chief Minister Sarma himself held a video conferencing with all the District Commissioners regarding the the armyworm attacks in paddy fields of 15 districts.

Following this, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora in a follow up action chaired an all important meeting with the District Agriculture Officers (DAO)s to review the situation and measures taken to bring the situation under control.

The DAOs were asked to immediately take all necessary precautions to stop further spread of the armyworm attacks. Agriculture minister Atul Bora also directed senior officials concerned to depute adequate number of departmental officials for extensive field visits and deploy officials & machinery from unaffected districts in affected districts to speedily control the damages caused to paddy cultivation.
Besides, the agriculture department is actively engaged in creating mass awareness on the measures to be taken to prevent spread of the armyworm attacks and distribute sprayer machines etc. to farmers of affected areas. The DAOs have been asked to send daily reports on the situation.

Not only this, the concerned officials have been urged to take required steps to provide compensation to the affected farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

As per reports, in 2016, the armyworm invasion happened after floods in the month of July. Prior to that such a pest attack had occured wayback in 1967.

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