Maize crop hit by deadly pest; farmers face losses
Maize farmers in rural Bangalore have had a bad yield this year.
This year, maize farmers in rural Bangalore face losses as maize crops were hit by the fall armyworm pest. Farmers used heavy pesticides to save the crop but ended up with a bad quality of crop. “If I put Rs. 4000 as my cost for seeds, fertilizer, labor, what I receive back is Rs. 2000 or less for one acre. When we don’t get profit out of this and crops are not sold, we feed it to our cattle,” said Vijyalakshami, a farmer.
According to data provided by the Department of Agriculture, Karnataka, maize production for 2018-19 kharif season was 36 per cent less than previous year. “We sold about 30 per cent more pesticide this year. Because I am a small shopkeeper, it affected my business a little bit. I gained profit out of this,” said Ramprasad R, a pesticide seller.
Less supply and high demand resulted in higher price of the crop. The prices rose from Rs.1200 per quintal to Rs.2200 per quintal in one year. However the MSP for maize in Karnataka is Rs.1700. “We have submitted crop loss memorandum to the Government of India for the year. Based on that they will send some officers who will check whether it is true or false,” said Anand K, Public Relation Officer, Department of Agriculture, Karnataka.
Farmers are expecting to get some amount that would fill the void of their losses. However, the department has not revealed the details of the relief money paid to farmers.