Caterpillar threat looms over Uttar Pradesh crops

August 10th, 2008 - 10:49 am ICT by ANI  

By Brajesh Kumar Singh
Mathura, Aug 10 (ANI): Caterpillars have reportedly destroyed almost 60-70 per cent of crops in Uttar Pradesh, leaving farmers quite anguished about not having a good harvest this year. Though they are striving hard to save their crops, most farmers don”t know what has affected them. “Caterpillars have engulfed the crop. Our standing crop has been destroyed. There is nothing remaining,” said Shivmangal Singh, a farmer. Farmers in this belt are not financially stable, and therefore, are anticipating traumatic days ahead, thanks to the insect. “Crops in Besawar,Jatoi, Nogaon and Garhwali region have been destroyed. The crops of sesame seed, bamboo and pearl millet have been destroyed completely by caterpillars,” said Vijay Kumar Chattarapati, a revenue official. Agriculture is the mainstay of the local economy with hundreds of thousands of rural folk depending on this sector for their bread and butter from this. Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the ‘’second largest economy in India after Maharashtra. The state is contributing 8.17 percent to India’’s total Gross Domestic Product. As of 2005, the state contributes over 20 per cent of India’’s agricultural production.
The 59th Round of NSS found that about 40.3 per cent of the farmers in Uttar Pradesh were indebted. Helpless farmers have said that will protest against government laxity on the matter. (ANI)

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