The infestation of “fall armyworm” in Manipur is growing rapidly despite measures taken up by the various departments to control the invasion of the pest. An initial report provided by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said that almost all the districts in the state are under the threat of the pest except for two districts namely Ukhrul and Tamenglong.
The report further informed that Kanglatombi under Kangpokpi district, traditionally a maize growing area, has been worst affected by the invasion, following which experts have suggested the use of pesticides to tackle the menace.
“So far we have not received any reports from Ukhrul and Tamenglong about the invasion of the pest. But extensive crop damage has been reported from different parts particularly Kanglatombi,” said Dr Arti Ningombam, entomologist of ICAR.
Manipur Chief Secretary J. Suresh Babu convened an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the prevailing situation and take measures to control the menace effectively.
Informing that the presence of fall armyworm is also increasing rapidly in Thoubal district, Dr Arti Ningombam informed that official report on the rate of infestation is being called for so as to adopt control measures effectively at the earliest.
The entomologist also informed that scientists have also detected third and fourth stage instar in some areas which are a cause of concern.
A Joint action team comprising of representatives from Central Integrated Pest Management Centre (CIPC), ICAR Manipur, Central Agricultural University Manipur and Agriculture department inspected the areas infested by the highly invasive pest on Thursday.