The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet approved compensation for farmers of Una and adjoining districts on account of the loss caused in wheat production due to high incidence of yellow rust on different varieties of the crop.
The meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, took the decisions in the wake of more than 60 per cent wheat crop being destroyed by yellow rust during this season in the central region.
Farmers were demanding compensation for the crop loss claiming that the agriculture department had supplied them “three substandard hybrid seed varieties procured from Punjab and Haryana.”
The most affected are farmers in the fertile Balh valley, Sundernagar, Dharampur and Gopalpur blocks and parts of the Joginderngar in the district. More than 60 per cent of wheat crop has perished due to yellow rust, Joginder Thakur and Balwant Rana, farmers from Balh and Sundarnagar, said.
The farmers had sown over 21,000 quintal of seeds in the 66,373 hectares area under the wheat crop in the district. The rest of the seeds were of traditional varieties, which had not been affected by the fungal disease, they claimed.
The state unit of CPI (M) has sought a probe into the “wheat seed scam”. Deputy director, Agriculture, Dr Manmohan, said the yellow rust had destroyed over 50 per cent of wheat crop this time. The main reason was the humid winter weather and fluctuating temperatures that produced conducive condition for the disease to flourish, he added.
He said the crop in the higher hills had not been affected. The three hybrid varieties were more prone to the rust as these had been used in Punjab over the last three to four years. The farmers had been advised to spray insecticides to arrest the fungal attack on the crop, but very few did it, he added.
He said the seeds were procured to the farmers after the agricultural university had recommended it. The hybrid seeds were changed after every third year, he added. “We are assessing the total loss caused by the yellow rust and will submit a report to the government,” he added.
- J&K gets Rs 90 cr Central fund for drought relief
- Punjab procures 10,079 tonnes wheat this season
- Web portal for farmers launched in Himachal
- 47.17 lakh tonnes of wheat lifted in Punjab so far
- Hailstorm damage 80 pc Apple crop
- Punjab dairy farmers demand raising of milk procurement rate
- Amarinder hails Rs 50 bonus on wheat, slams Badal
- Muskmelon infected by diseases in Punjab
- Rs 20.10 cr macro management scheme to bring economic boom
- Cabinet approves Rs 46 cr for cooperative sugar mills