By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 12: Maize plantations in Ukhrul and Tamenglong districts too have been invaded by Fall Armyworm which means all the districts of the State have been affected by the highly invasive pest which can cause extensive damage to standing crops within a very short time.
According to information received from Agriculture Department, reports of extensive damages on maize plantations by Fall Army have been coming from different quarters of the State.
Meanwhile, the department has been working to spray pesticides at all the areas affected by the pest within the coming week.
Gwaltabi, Thawai, Kasom Khullen and Yessom of Ukhrul and Kamjong districts have been severely affected by the pest.
Fall Armyworm has also been reported from Khumji and Longmai areas of Tamenglong and Noney districts, informed the source.
It is said that around three hectares of maize cultivation have been devastated by Fall Armyworm at Longmai and Khumji villages.
Henglep sub-division of Churachandpur district too has come under the invasion of Fall Armyworm.
Saying that the first phase of maize plantation is usually done at around 19,000 hectares in the State, the source conveyed that the number hectares devastated so far could not be ascertained.
Nonetheless, Agriculture Department is preparing a report on the extent of damage done to maize plantations by the pest.
A team of Agriculture Department would go to Kamgjong district tomorrow to make a spot assessment of the damages done by Fall Armyworm.
Agriculture officials would also mount a strict vigil from tomorrow at areas adjoining hills where maize is cultivated.
So far, monitoring teams of Agriculture Department have covered 200 hectares of maize plantations at 70 villages. Apart from assessing the damages done by Fall Armyworm, the team have distributed pesticide to maize farmers of the 70 villages, said the source. The exact magnitude of damage by the pest would be ascertained within the next couple of days and the department has been working hard to contain Fall Armyworm before the onset of paddy cultivation season.
Agriculture officials have come across dead Fall Armyworms where pesticide has been sprayed, informed the source.
Yet, there are reports of Fall Armyworm spreading wider in the valley districts of Imphal East, Imphal West and Thoubal.
Notably, Agriculture Department has already constituted four monitoring teams for each district in order to tackle the menace of Fall Armyworm, added the source.