Watermelon disease Needs expertise attention says agriculture dept

Gomantak Times
Thursday, 30 January 2020

Inspection zonal officer Anil Noronha said, "Yes, we have visited the fields and took stock of the situation. The report is also forwarded to the director.”

MARGAO: Taking note of the sudden breakout of a rare type of disease in watermelons at Verna, officers of the agriculture department rushed to the fields and inspected the watermelon farming. The department found out that this is a rare type of disease and needs to be investigated by scientific experts.
GT had first unleashed the news on January 28. When GT scribe brought this issue to the notice of Director of Agriculture Madhav Kelkar, he immediately ordered Margao zone divisional officers to inspect the watermelon farming activities at Verna.
Speaking to GT with regard to the inspection zonal officer Anil Noronha said, "Yes, we have visited the fields and took stock of the situation. The report is also forwarded to the director.”
He further said that they were also shocked to see such a rare disease in the fruits. "We did not know how this disease has arisen. But, now there is no option left, as major damage is done to the watermelons production. We can't take any precautions now. Actually the farmers should have informed the department initially so that some sought of precautions could have been taken and the damage could have been avoided,” he further added.
When asked what is the cause of this sudden breakout of the rare type of disease he said that he is totally unaware of it but that the matter needs serious attention of scientific experts.
"We can't assure the compensation to the affected farmers. First of all the government has to take cognizance about the same. And thereafter the next process can be started,” he informed.
It may be recalled that a sudden breakout of a rare type of disease in watermelons has left nearly 60 to 70 Verna farmers in shock. Farmers have also claimed that it is the first time that they have witnessed such type of disease, which has damaged 95 percent watermelon farming. This rare type of disease has created an insect that is eating away the leaves within a night. Thereafter they set on the watermelons and damage the skin, resulting in a major loss. Farmers are unaware of the cause and type of disease.

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