Newmai News Network
Imphal | May 17
Manipur Agriculture department has intensified it combat against the spread of Fall Armyworm (FAW) in the state.
State Agriculture Director, Laltanpuii Vanchhong said that all possible steps have been taken up to combat further infestation of the maize crop by the invasive pest which has caused extensive damages to maize cultivation in some districts of Manipur.
She was speaking at a two-day national workshop on “Scientific Management of Fall Armyworm in Maize Production” hosted by Manipur Centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with Indian Institute of Maize Resource, Ludhiana.
Laltanpuii Vanchhong said that the Agriculture department has been closely examining the infestation of maize plants by the invasive pest. The department has also opened helplines so that maize cultivators can contact if their crops are affected by FAW.
The Agriculture department is using most effective pesticide “Emamectin benzoate” recommended by the Farmer Welfare department (plant protection) of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation in combating the pest, the officer further said, adding, “Combating FAW is a huge challenge for her department”. She also said that “bio-pesticide” will be more effective in checking the pest.
Laltanpuii Vanchhong then informed to all maize growers of the state to closely examine their maize crops for any infestation, “and if any pest or worm is found, they should contact the dedicated helplines opened by the department”. She also said that farmers can also contact Plant Health Clinic at the Directorate of Agriculture or concerned offices of the District Agriculture Officer (DAO). “Farmers can avail the pesticide free of cost.
Other technical assistance can also avail for the farmers”, she added.
Laltanpuii Vanchhong then urged the Agricultural scientists and experts participating in the workshop to inform the department if the workshop comes out with new strategies to combat the pest.
Scientists and experts of the ICAR (Manipur Centre) and the Indian Institute of Maize Resource, Ludhiana presented their latest findings on the ways to protect maize and other crops from the FAW.
ICAR scientist, Dr Arti Ningombam said that the FAW infestation started in some parts of Manipur after it had already damaged 80% of the crop grown in the neighbouring state of Mizoram.