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Nagaland

Department says FAW outbreak ‘largely contained’

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By EMN Updated: Jun 28, 2019 11:47 pm
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Dimapur, June 28 (EMN): The outbreak of fall armyworm (FAW) in Nagaland has been “largely contained,” according to the state’s department of Agriculture.

A press release from the department on Friday informed that FAW had infested 513 villages covering a total area of 4470.17 hectares in the state, as of June 25.

“A more clear (sic) picture will emerge over the next few weeks with the flowering of maize plants to enable us to ascertain if the infestation by the deadly pests could be completely contained,” it stated.

Minister for Agriculture and Cooperation G Kaito Aye has been monitoring the efforts to contain the infestation and overseeing the coordination among all agencies involved in the fight against the FAW pest, according to the press release.

“Close on the heels of the invasion of the crop damaging pest in neighbouring Mizoram and Manipur, the fall armyworm infestation was first reported from Sakhabama village under Kohima district on the May 9. The infestation was in the early part of the second cycle, with the damage percentage of about 20-35% which required chemical control.

“More reports of infestation arrived after the department corresponded officially with the KVKs (Krishi Vigyan Kendras), Atma (Agriculture Technology Management Agency), CIPMC (Central Integrated Pest Management Centre), districts and sub-divisional agriculture officers,” it informed.

The department went about procuring inputs for control of the FAW even as pest scouting, identification of infested areas and training for farmers were initiated, it stated. “The department employed bio-control measures, and eco-friendly pesticides for fighting the pests as per the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) recommendation. Another major concern was to protect the organic clusters in Nagaland from being exposed to harmful pesticides in the process of containing the infestation.”

The areas found infested by the FAW include Kohima, Chiephobozou, Tseminyu, Phek, Chozuba, Meluri, Zunheboto, Akuluto, Aghunato, Satakha, Pughoboto, Mokokchung, Tuli, Mangkolemba, Peren, Tening, Kiphire, Pungro, Tuensang, Shamator, Longkhim, Dimapur, Wokha and Baghty.

Out of 63849 hectares—the total area under maize cultivation in the state—4470.17 hectares (7% of the total area) were found infested by the fall armyworm, it informed. According to current data the department and various agencies have been successful in restraining the further spread of FAW infestation to new areas, it added.

“Surveillance and monitoring is still in progress and will continue till harvest. Monitoring and surveillance are being conducted in all maize growing areas by departmental officials, extension personnel, KVKs, CIPMC, ATMA functionaries and progressive farmers,” the statement read.

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By EMN Updated: Jun 28, 2019 11:47:12 pm