By Phanjoubam Chingkheinganba (Ching)
Fall Armyworm, the pest which has been attacking maize plantation in the state, continues to spread wider even as concerned officials continues to take up preventive measures to contain it.
Nodal officer AK Chittaranjan of Agriculture Department told Asomiya Pratidin that as of now “It is to early to determine the exact hectares that have been affected though 200 hectares have been confirmed as affected and required pesticide to kill it has been successfully delivered.”
He said the affection was first detected on May 7 last in Chandel district and is the first ever attack by the pest in the state adding the pest is a native of tropical and subtropical region of North America.
Still, the immediate concern of officials and scientists of Indian Council of Agricultural Research Lamphel and Central Agriculture University, is to contain the attack at the earliest as the pest is highly adaptable and can alternately attack other standing crops as well thereby making food scarcity possible, said the senior official.
He said soon as the attack of the pest was learnt, the Agriculture department immediately procured the pesticide “Emancitin Benonate” from Guwahati so as to be used for spraying in affected maize plantations areas.
He also recalled that to meet the challenge posed by the pest Fall Armyworm, “A four-member team was constituted for every district on May 10th last and a training programme was organised for them the next day in association with ICAR and CAU” to enable them to identify the pest and to other technical knowledge.
While the presence of Fall Armyworm, which too has affected neighbouring Nagaland and Mizoram state, the presence of the insect was reported in Myanmar, one or two years back.