New type of insect infesting crops in Manipur

New type of insect infesting crops in Manipur

An example of the crop damage caused by the Fall Armyworm caterpillar is seen in this picutre provided by here DIPR Nagaland. (DIPR Photo)

Newmai News Network

Imphal | May 13

Even as Manipur Agriculture department struggles to combat the Fall Armyworm (FAW) in the state, a different type of insect is also found attacking standing crops in an area in the state.

According to a local newspaper, insects of a moth family are found infesting maize plants in north Imphal. This news came to light after a joint team of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal and the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) had conducted a joint survey work in the wake of FAW attacking standng crops. According to the report in Imphal Free Press daily newspaper, the team had sent the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resource, Bengaluru for further investigation.

Meanwhile,  Indian Council  of Agriculture Research (ICAR) scientists continue to take up measures against the FAW in more intensified manner.

The state Agriculture department that had constituted three “joint action teams” to combat the spread of FAW are now touring various areas. The FAW has affected almost all the districts of the state.

Earlier, the “joint action teams” have recommended Emamectin benzoate to combat the FAW.

The Agriculture department asked the farmers cultivating maize to examine closely tender shoots and leaves of their standing maize crops as the pest normally starts attacking from these parts..

Fall Armyworm (FAW) was earlier confined to the USA until 2015 and by 2017, it spread to some African countries, wreaking havoc in the continent. This pest was detected for the first time in India’s Karnataka in 2018 and rapidly spread to other parts of the country with Chhattisgarh was the last state to report the pest in January this year. However, the pest was detected in some parts of North East states such as Mizoram and Manipur recently.

ICAR scientists said that cultivation of maize in Manipur is now under severe threat following the attack by the pest. The ICAR scientists further warned that the “new pest invasion” must be taken seriously and knowledge about this new pest is the only way to manage the insects rather than blindly using insecticides recommended by pesticide dealers. They further warned that blindly using other insecticides recommended by pesticide dealers to control Fall Armyworm may prove counter-productive and more disastrous.