AIZAWL, May 15 - Mizoram Agriculture officials said today that the fall armyworm attack has caused an estimated crop loss of Rs 7.65 crore.
During a State-level training programme on scientific management of fall armyworms (Spodotera frugiperda) in maize crops here today, Commissioner and Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Department Lalhmingthanga, said the first incidence of fall armyworms in Mizoram was noticed in Lunglei district on April 8 and the possible loss due to the outbreak in the State has been estimated at Rs 7.65 crore.
“As suggested by the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage, Government of India, a State-level sub-committee was constituted comprising members from the ICAR, NEIDA, KVK, leaders of the rapid response team and others,” he said.
The programme was organised jointly by the Mizoram Government’s Department of Agriculture, ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research, Ludhiana and ICAR- National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bengaluru.
Lalhmingthanga also said that the rapid response team has come up with a strategic plan in combating the pest attack in Mizoram.
The visiting scientists from the ICAR presented papers during the second session. The third session of the training concluded with field visits and practical demonstration for scouting and monitoring fall armyworms.
PTI adds: The pest attack has affected 68 per cent of maize cultivation in the State, an official said.
The pest has affected 2,424 out of 3,539 hectares of maize fields in the State. As a result, a total of 5,525 families have been affected, he said. The pest attack spread across all the eight districts of the State very fast, he added.
The fall armyworm is a pest that feeds in large numbers on the leaves and stems of more than 80 plant species, causing major damage to economically important cultivated grasses such as maize, rice, sorghum and sugarcane but also other vegetable crops and cotton, officials said.