Bhubaneswar, Nov 4: Amid fresh reports of farmers burning their pest-infested paddy crops in different parts of the State, Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout today said that farmers setting crops on fire will not be eligible for compensation for crop loss.
The Minister's statement came a day after he made an emotional appeal to farmers not to burn standing crops saying paddy crop is regarded as goddess Lakshmi in Odisha since time immemorial.
However, despite his appeal a farmer today torched pest-affected crops in four acres of agricultural field at Bandigaon in Dharmagarh block in Kalahandi district.
'Farmers setting crops on fire will not be eligible for compensation for crop loss. Because damage cannot be evaluated due to the torching,' said Rout.
On Wednesday, Brunda Sahu (55), a farmer from Kaliapani village in Bargarh, had allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison, a day after setting fire to his crops. Taking a cue from Sahu, farmers in Jharsuguda, Nuapada, Ganjam, Sambalpur, Rayagada and Kalahandi have torched their pest affected crops as well.
Meanwhile, Bargarh district Collector today submitted an inquiry report to the State Government on the suicide of farmer Brunda Sahu.