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Teams formed to combat Fall armyworm invasion in Manipur
 IMPHAL, May 11 - Manipur Government has constituted three action teams to combat the spread of the devastating pest Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), in the agricultural fields in the State, according to State Agriculture department.

In a move to protect the infestation of the maize by the pests, “the teams have started visiting the affected districts – Chandel, Churachandpur, Imphal West and Thoubal from May 9 to spray ‘Emamectin benzoate’(a pesticide) recommended by Union Ministry of Agriculture,” said Director of State Agriculture department Laltanpuii Vanchhong in a press note.

If the crop is found to be infested, the farmers are advised to spray ‘Emamectin benzoate’ or ‘Thiamethoxam’ plus ‘Lambdacyhalothrim’ or ‘Chlorantranilliprole’. The farmers are also advised to contact the district agriculture officers or the Krishi Vigyan Kendras for technical support.

The scientists from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Manipur Centre detected the pest called Fall Armyworm, native to tropical and subtropical North America for the first time in Northeastern States including Manipur this week.

Initially the insect was found in the maize farms in Imphal West and Chandel district. But, now farmers of other areas in the State, which has around 20,000 ha area of maize cultivation, have also reported detecting the worms in their maize fields. According to sources, the pest, which is rapidly multiplying and causing extensive damage to standing crops and plants. The female Fall Armyworm can travel up to around 100 km in a night.

Neighbouring Mizoram has reported an estimated crop loss of Rs 20 crore caused by the outbreak of the Fall armyworm in the State where maize cultivation in 1,747.9 hectares in 122 villages have been affected.

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