Some Anuradhapura paddy lands affected by Nematodes Fungus - GA | Daily News

Some Anuradhapura paddy lands affected by Nematodes Fungus - GA

Anuradhapura GA  Janaka Jayasundara
Anuradhapura GA Janaka Jayasundara

A large stretch of paddy lands in the Anuradhapura district has been affected by the Nematode Fungus where the yellowing of paddy plants, yellow spot disease, insect infestation can be seen in paddy cultivations, said Anuradhapura Government Agent Janaka Jayasundara.

He said a team of agriculturists headed by the Head of the Bathalagoda Paddy Research Institute visited Anuradhapura recently on a fact finding inspection tour to observe the gravity of the spread of the fungus. The experts were of the view that a severe lack of Muriate of Potassium (MOP) or Bandi Pohora in the soil over the past cultivation seasons may be the main reason for the discolouring process. They said the Nematoda Fungus has led to a decrease in paddy production in the 2022/23 Maha Season.

Anuradhapura District Deputy Agrarian Commissioner Chaminda Ekanayake said paddy crops on 25,000 hectares of the 125,000 hectares in the district have become yellowish in colour and it is feared that the fungus could spread to the 22 Divisional Secretariat divisions and mainly in Nachchaduwa, Rajangane and Mahakanadarawa areas.

“Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has asked the farmers to apply the MOP fertilizer immediately for young paddy cultivations to save it from becoming malnourished and yellowish. Adequate stocks of MOP or Bandi Pohora are available at the 43 Agrarian Development Centres in the Anuradhapura District at the subsidized price of Rs.19,500 per 50 kg bag,” the Deputy Agrarian Development Commissioner told the Daily News.

A number of farmer organisation officials pointed out that the agriculture authorities failed in supply of MOP and TSP fertilizer to the farmers during the past cultivation seasons and although there was MOP available at the later stage of the 2022/23, Maha cultivation season farmers couldn’t afford to buy the fertilizer stocks at Rs.19,500 per bag, from the Agrarian Development Department.

“The agriculture authorities say that the loss of the paddy production due to the yellow colouring menace will be around 20%, but, we fear that paddy production in 2022/23 Maha Season will drop by 40% to 50% in the country,” farmer organisation representatives said.

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