Fall Armyworm spreads to Bpr, Imphal West


IMP/TBL, May 9 : Even as joint action teams constituted by the Agriculture Department have started spot assessment of the areas already affected by Fall Armyworm, the highly invasive pest has spread to Leimaram in Bishnupur district and Ngairangbam in Imphal West district.   
The joint action teams comprise of officials of Agriculture Department, ICAR and CAU.
The teams went to different places of Imphal West, Thoubal, Chandel and Churachandpur where Fall Armyworm have been attacking crops and plants. The teams also distributed bio-pesticide to maize growers to kill the particular pest.
Meanwhile, reports have been received about damages inflicted by Fall Armyworm to maize plants at Leimaram and Ngairangbam.
Both ICAR and Agriculture Department have been collecting detailed reports from districts affected by Fall Armyworm.       
The joint action team assigned to carry out post assessment of areas affected by Fall Armyworm in Thoubal and Imphal West districts visited Yairipok Kekru after visiting Kanglatongbi and other places.
Speaking to media persons at Yairipok Kekru, ICAR Manipur Centre Entomologist Dr Romila Akoijam said that they came across damages done to standing crops and plants by Fall Armyworm at different places.
At Kanglatongbi, 70 to 80 per cent of standing crops and plants have been devastated by Fall Armyworm.
Dr Romila said that Fall Armyworm is nocturnal in nature and farmers would see adult Fall Armyworms in night if the fields are lighted using electric bulbs.
She asked farmers to destroy adult Fall Armyworms physically as soon as they are seen.
Larvae of Fall Armyworm numbering 100 to 200 can be seen on the lower side of leaves covering an area of the size of thumb in purple colour. These larvae should also be destroyed physically by crushing them, she suggested.
She further recommended bio-pesticides rather than chemical pesticides for containing Fall Armyworm.
The team which also included Thoubal District Agriculture Officer S Lemba, Plant Pathologist Dr M Thoithoi and ICAR scientists later distributed bio-pesticide to farmers.