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Farmers battling pests in Central Java

Solo, Ekuatorial – With bad weather continues to hit Central Java, farmers are left battling pests in their paddy fields on their own as local officials have yet to receive any reports on the condition.

“Around eight hectares of paddy fields are attacked by golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata lamarck ) and four hectares must be replanted,” said Joko, a farmer of Gantiwarno, Klaten district.

Golden apple snails eat young and emerging rice plants. If not treated properly, they will cut the stem leaving the whole plant to die. They are considered as dangerous pests for rice plants because they grow quickly. One snail can breed into hundreds within a week.

“If insecticide did not work on them (not dead). Then, we would have to do it manually, picking it one by one then burn them. That’s quite a work for us,” said Joko adding that snails’ growth was also depended on water condition of the paddy field.

Meanwhile, Supramnaryo, head of Karanganyar Agriculture, Crop Plants, Plantation and Forestry Agency, said that they have yet to receive any reports on pests attacks from the field.

“Up to date, we have yet to receive any reports of pests in paddy fields. When high rainfall, pests would attack paddy fields but there isn’t [any attack]. We ensure that there has yet pests attacks because we have dispatched officials to monitor,” said Supramnaryo.

He added that planthoppers, rats and snails were pests quickly to grow during high rainfalls. But, he said, there were no reports of them yet early this year. Nevertheless, they have prepared pesticides if there were any pests attacks paddy fields.

Wahyu Prasetyo, head of Agriculture Agency, also said that there were no reports of pests attacks in his area. “Besides officials, they are also accompanied by villages’ officials to monitor the field. They would also help farmers [to deal with pests],” said Prasetyo adding that his men would also help fixing or setting up irrigation system.

“Because, from reports, lots of irrigation system broke down or too shallow. This can lead to crop failure if we don’t fix it. We won’t be able to harvest if paddy fields are flooded due to bad irrigation system,” he said. Bramantyo

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