KANPUR, Uttar Pradesh - Rice production in central Uttar Pradesh is under threat this year, with scientists expressing concerns over various factors that could significantly impact the region's rice output.
A destructive virus attack has wreaked havoc on paddy crops, causing them to wither and leading to considerable damage. Farmers in several districts, including Banda, Unnao, Fatehpur, Maharajpur, Sarsaul in Kanpur, and Kanpur Dehat, have reported severe damage to their rice plants due to this viral onslaught.
Adding to the farmers' woes are erratic rainfall patterns and temperature fluctuations. The inconsistency in weather conditions has exacerbated the viral and fungal attacks on the paddy crop. Dr. SN Pandey, a weather scientist, pointed out that the virus has stunted plant growth, which will inevitably have a detrimental effect on rice grain production. This problem is particularly acute in districts with limited access to irrigation facilities.
Currently, paddy crops are grappling with a range of diseases, including leaf blast, collar blast, node blast, neck blast, sheath blight, and bacterial leaf blight, as reported by scientists.
Rice blast, primarily caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, is one of the most notorious rice diseases globally due to its widespread distribution and the extensive damage it can cause under favorable conditions.
In response to this crisis, experts from the Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology have issued a warning to farmers and provided guidance on mitigating the damage to their crops. Crop safety scientist Dr. Ajay Singh recommends specific measures, including reducing nitrogen usage, increasing potassium application, and utilizing anti-fungus sprays to combat the ongoing threat to rice plants.
The situation remains critical, and farmers are urged to take immediate action to safeguard their crops and livelihoods.