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Mon, 16 Sep 2019

Northeast Today

Mizoram: Crops of over 80 villages affected after Fall Armyworm (FAWs) attack

Mizoram: Crops of over 80 villages affected after Fall Armyworm (FAWs) attack
April 29
13:03 2019

NET Bureau

Mizoram, a highly agriculture depending state, has been presently invaded by Fall Armyworms (FAWs),  a dangerous crop damaging pest, creating fear among farmers, who constituted more than 70 per cent of the total population. The farmers are apprehensive of the possible of the recurrence of “mautam” famine-like situation Mizoram had witnessed 60 years ago.
According to officials of the state Agriculture department, the outbreak of FAWs hasbeen reported in all the eight districts of Mizoram, affecting more than 80 villages.
Agriculture director, Rohmingthnaga Colney said that the outbreak of FAWs was first reported on March 3 from Ngasih area in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district. The infestation has soon spread in the entire state in less than a month, he said. Rohmingthnaga Colney also said that at least 31 villages in Aizawl district, 10 each in Mamit, Serchhip and Lunglei districts, 6 in Champhai district, 5 in Kolsib district  and 4 each in Siaha and Lawngtlai districts have been affected by the outbreak of FAWs.
According to Colney, maize cultivation in 1409 hectares of land worth Rs 18.4 crore has been severely damaged by the infestation.

The official then said that joint teams of the Agriculture Technology Management Authority and District Agriculture Office have visited the affected villages, organized on-the-spot training and demonstration on how to prevent the worms and also distributed pesticides, insecticides and sprayers to the maize farmers, whose crops have been attacked by the worms. He added that the infestation of the worms would be informed to the Centre and the state agriculture experts have also consulted scientists in the ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research.
Citing about the possible reason for the outbreak, Colney said it could be due to long dry spell and sudden rise in temperature. Colney also said that the state government has formed Rapid Response team to carry out survey and use insecticides to curb the infestation. Colney further said they received pre-warning about the possible outbreak of FAWs from the Centre  on February 27.
Mizoram had witnessed a plague of black rats due to large scale flowering of bamboos (mautam in Mizo parlance) between 1958 and 1959.

Source: Morung Express

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