JAMMU, Mar 6: Minister of State for Agriculture and R&B, Javed Ahmed Dar, today admitted that nearly 6296 hectare area of wheat crop was affected due to yellow rust in five districts of Jammu region.
Replying to the Calling Attention Motion of the NC member Ajay Sadhotra in the Upper House today, Mr Dar said that outbreak of ‘yellow rust’ disease in wheat crop has been observed in five districts of Jammu region including, Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Reasi and Udhampur. He claimed that the incidence was first reported in the third week of January 2012 in the border areas of Jammu, Samba and Kathua.
Mr Dar pointed out that the initial occurrence of the disease in the plains of Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts is from the water logged / irrigated areas along the border which provide the necessary moisture regime for outbreak of this disease. The Government has taken several steps to check this disease. He disclosed that as per a survey conducted by the concerned department officials, out of total 71000 hectare area under wheat crop, an area of nearly 1069 hectare has been affected with the yellow rust in the wheat crop in Jammu district, out of 45,894 ha area under wheat crop nearly 3710 ha area under yellow rust in Kathua district, out of total 20480 ha nearly 1146 ha under disease in Samba, 370 ha in Reasi followed by merely one hectare area in district Udhampur.
The Minister said taking lesson from the earlier experience during 2010-11 in five states of North India, the effective steps were taken by the Government and it was suggested to sow rust resistance wheat varieties like PBW175, PBW509, Raj 3765 and Raj 3077 and these varieties were distributed among the farmers of the vulnerable area. The provision of ` 30 lakh was earmarked for providing pesticides on subsidized cost for control of this disease in Jammu division under RKVY scheme with a provision of 50 % subsidy on Propiconazole 25 % EC pesticide used to control the yellow rust. He claimed that stocking of Propiconazole 25% EC in the Zonal stores of these districts was done in advance and 2100 Lts Pesticide Propiconazole 25 % was stocked in zonal stores well before the occurrence of the disease. An adequate provision was made to provide subsidy to the farmers for the purchase of spray pump sets to spray the chemicals.
Mr Dar pointed out that farmer field schools and demonstrations on wheat crop were laid right from the sowing time of the crop, 5000 crop demonstrations and 108 farmer field schools were laid to train 8240 farmers of Jammu division. Close monitoring was started and one departmental officer was nominated as Liaison Officer in each district to coordinate with the SKUAST/ KVK and the Central Integrated Pest Management Centre for surveillance. Besides chemicals, 1173 spray pumps have also been distributed among the farmers at subsidized cost. Mr Sadhotra criticized the Government for not taking proper measures before the outbreak of the disease and demanded compensation to the farmers whose crop has been affected with the yellow rust. He pointed out that recommendations of noted Agricultural Scientist, Dr S D Singh, were not taken seriously and the farmers were made to suffer again in this year. Mr Dar however, denied the charges and said that all possible measures were taken.