Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) Photo Credit: Forestry Images

The Nagaland government on Friday asked all departments to advise their district officials to take preventive measures and be prepared against attack by the caterpillar called Fall Armyworm on agricultural crops.

The government issued the directive following recent attack on agricultural crops by the caterpillar in Manipur, Mizoram and some parts of Kohima.

The caterpillar attack caused devastation to crops in these places, Nagaland’s agriculture principal secretary and agriculture production commissioner T Imkonglemba Ao said in a notification.

Ao has also asked the departments to take all necessary measures to eradicate the pest in places where it has already infested.

The state agriculture department, in another statement on Friday, said the Fall Armyworm infestation on maize crop cultivation has been reported from Kohima district.

Fall Armyworm is an invasive pest damaging the entire field within a few days of its infestation, the release said. It is an exotic pest and can feed on 80 different crops, the department said.

The main impact is on maize crop, it added.

Saying the attack by the pest is a cause of concern for farmers and scientists across the country, the department asked the district agriculture officers to immediately start monitoring, surveillance and pest scouting as immediate control measures.

These protection measures are necessary to avoid spreading of the pest, creation of awareness among the stakeholders and management strategies against attack by the pest at community level, the department said.

For input support, the release said, the directorate of agriculture can provide azadirachtin for first window (seedling to early whorl stage) and emamectin benzoote for second window (mid-whorl to late whorl stage).

It said the package of practices on management strategies will be uploaded in the NeGPA (National e-Governance Plan Agriculture) website (Naga Farm Doctor App).

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com

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