The situation has been worsened as the pesticides are not effective. Therefore suspicions have been raised whether the pesticides are substandard.
As a mean of demonstrating their increased dissatisfaction towards the current situation farmers of Minneriya has set fire to thier paddy lands yesterday (Feb 25).
Mr. S . R Bandara, President of Ulpathwewa Bedum Ela Farmers’ Association, commenting on the current situation stated that the agricultural authorities were previously informed of the mite hazard as it took place in the previous season as well and the officials have failed to take due action.
He further stated that if urgent measures are not taken to introduce a suitable pesticide, not only the farmers in Polonnaruwa but the farmers island wide will commence a fast to death.
Farmer N K G Ravindu Samarasinghe also accused the agricultural authorities stating that they travel overseas not to gain agricultural knowledge but for leisure, which has no benefit to the farmers.
Commenting on the matter Polonnaruwa District Agriculture Director R.P.Upali stated that mite hazard spread unexpectedly fast and the farmers have been made aware of the measures that can be taken to prevent the mite attacks. However, there is a difficulty in preventing the mite attack using pesticides.
The pesticides that are currently in use are effective when they make physical contact with the pests where the pesticides are sprayed on the pests. However, in a case like this the prevention can be done by using pesticides on the plant where the pests die as they attempt to attack the harvest, he further explained.