Farmers perturbed by grasshopper attack in sugarcane fields

Sudden attack of grasshoppers on sugarcane fields in Madhukhali of the
district has sent chills down several hundred farmers’ spine in the
upazila recently.
Sugarcane on several hundred acres of land is getting damaged due to
the attack of grasshoppers in the last one week.
More than 100 farmers having deal with Faridpur Sugar Mills have been
badly affected as thousands of grasshoppers have eaten up their crop.
Farmers complained that despite repeated requests the sugar mill
authorities have not yet taken any step to check their loss.
Due to the grasshopper attack, the production target of the Faridpur
Sugar Mills is unlikely to be achieved, it is apprehended.  The
farmers complained that they are facing the crisis mainly due to
corruption by some officials of the mills.
A number of sugarcane growers said they cultivated sugarcane by
managing loans from different sources.
Now they are thinking how they would repay their loans. If the mill
authorities do not give compensation, the farmers would not grow
sugarcane in future.
Some farmers said the day after the grasshopper attack they informed
the mills officials but they did not take any measure.
A farmer named Sarwar Mridha said they have become almost paupers as
the mill authorities have not taken any step to control insects.  The
farmers also said there is an agriculture section of the sugar mills.
Their responsibility is to look after sugarcane since its plantation.
But despite this disaster no official has visited their fields so far.
The hardship of the farmers has become more acute because of these
corrupt officials.
During a visit, it was found that young people were busy killing
insects by the use of mosquito nets.
One can earn Tk 200 from the mill authorities if they deposit one
kilogram of killed insects. Every day 60-70 kgs of killed insects are
being deposited to the mills authorities. So far 150 kgs of killed
insects have been deposited.
Faridpur Sugar Mills manager Kamal Kanti Sarkar said the attack of
grasshoppers is new to them.
He admitted that they could not do anything to kill the insects. Kamal
Kanti said so far sugarcane on 50-60 acres was damaged.  He added the
production target during the upcoming sugarcane crushing at the mills
might be missed. -UNB, Faridpur

Leave a Reply