Boro paddy growers in the district are worried over pest attack on their fields as even different insecticides and pesticides are not able to kill the pests.
An insect named borer (locally called majra poka) is attacking their fields and destroying the crops.
This correspondent saw some farmers spraying insecticides on their fields on Monday in Chalitabunia village in Champapur union under Kalapara upazila.
Proshanto Das said he planted Boro paddy on three acres of land this year, but he is worried he may not get good yield as pests have attacked his field.
“I am spraying Furter, a liquid medicine, on the field to control the pest for a few days, but in vain as the pests do not die,” he added.
He got about 60 maunds (one maund =40 kg) of Boro paddy from two acres of land and also got good price last year, Proshanto said.
Mizanur Rahman said he cultivated Boro paddy on four acres of land this year and he was very careful about pest attack from the beginning, but the pest (majra) still attacked his field.
Sudhir Vaat of the same village said he cultivated Boro paddy on one acre of land and spent about Tk 40,000 for ploughing, irrigation, seeds and fertilizers, but he is very worried that he may not good yield as pests have attacked his whole field.
The pest lays its eggs, which form the larva (young majra), on the plants. The larva stays in the plants and sucks the sap, causing the plants to dry out. After about a week, the larva reaches maturity and lays its egg in the same way, he added.
He showed some dried plants to this correspondent.
Like, Prosanto, Mizanur and Sudhir, many Boro growers in the area are uncertain about getting good yield this year.
Sadar upazila Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer Abdul Awal said they advise farmers to use granulated medicine on their fields as the plants can absorb it through the roots to kill the pest.
Kalapara Upazila Agriculture Extension Officer Md Moshiur Rahman said pest attack rate is not alarming in the area. “We advise farmers to plant 15 to 20 tree branches on one acre of crop field so that birds can sit on those and eat the pests, he added.
Department of Agriculture Extension Deputy Director Hridayeshwar said they advise farmers to use light trap on their field to control the pest and then plant the branches.
Boro paddy has been cultivated on about 9,565 hectares of land this year in all eight upazilas, while the target was only 1,470 hectares, he said.
The paddy was cultivated on about 4,000 hectares in Galachipa upazila, 2,500 hectares in Dashmina, 1,560 hectares in Kalapara, 680 hectares in Baufal, 670 hectares in Rangabali, 110 hectares in Patuakhali Sadar, 35 hectares in Dumki and 10 hectares in Mirzaganj, Hridayeshwar added.