Farmers seek damages for disease in paddy variety

Paddy stalks affected by blast disease in a field in Wayanad,   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A group of farmers under the aegis of the Cheekkallur Padashekhara Samiti is preparing to launch agitations seeking adequate compensation for crop loss suffered by the farmers who had raised “Manuvarna”, a new rice variety released by the Kerala Agricultural University recently, on 240 acres in Wayanad district.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, spokespersons of the samiti, K. Kesava Marar and E.P. Philipkutty, said that 60 farmers under the samiti had cultivated the new variety of rice on 240 acres of land and it was completely destroyed by the rice blast disease, a fungal disease affecting paddy.

But another rice variety, “Athira”, which was cultivated only 30 cm away from the paddy field, was not attacked by the blast disease, they said.

They had procured 4,700 kg of ‘Manuvarna’ variety of paddy by paying ₹42 a kg. They had spent ₹1.25 crore for the cultivation, including rent of the land.

Faulty studies

The reason for the spread of the disease was faulty researches conducted at the Rice Research Stations (RRS) at Mankombu, Vyttila, and Pattambi under the Kerala Agricultural University, they alleged.

The farmers should be provided a compensation of ₹60,000 an acre for their loss and the amount should be collected from the scientists of the research stations, Mr. Philipkutty said.

March planned

The farmers would take out a protest march from the Cheekkallur farm to the office of the Principal Agricultural Officer at Kalpetta by carrying paddy spikes and stage a dharna in front of the office on November 25, raising the demand, Mr. Marar said.

Legal measures

If the issue is not solved amicably, the farmers would picket the Principal Agricultural Officer, they warned. Moreover, legal measures would be adopted against the RRS, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:47:24 AM |

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