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Fall armyworms
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MIZORAM

Fall armyworm outbreak ‘more or less’ contained: Mizoram minister

State govt provided assistance to maize cultivators by distributing bio-pesticides, bio-agents and pesticides free of cost to deal with crop pest infestation, says C Lalrinsanga 

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Following the efforts made by the state government the outbreak of fall armyworms (FAW), a dangerous crop damaging pest,  has been more or less contained, state agriculture minister C Lalrinsanga said on Friday.

The FAW outbreak was first report in Lunglei district in early April and soon spread to the entire state.

Lalrinsanga informed the state assembly that the state government had provided assistance to the maize cultivators by distributing bio-pesticide, bio-agents and pesticides free of cost to deal with the FAW outbreak.

Citing about the measures taken by the state government to check the infestation, he said a sub-committee on the incidence of FAW and a Rapid Response Team were constituted to mitigate the loss of crops caused by the pest attack.

Apart from these, officials of agriculture department and scientist from ICAR- Integrated Maize Research Institute visited the affected villages and conducted training on how to control the FAWs outbreak for maize farmers, he said, adding the state government also coordinated with NGOs like Young Mizo Association (YMA).

According to the minister, the state government has asked the Centre to provide assistance to the farmers under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and National Food Security Mission (NFSM).

However, the state government could not implement Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), a crop insurance scheme of the Centre as no company has responded to the tender the government had floated, he said.

More than 8,900 families in 332 villages have been affected in Mizoram by the infestation of Fall Armyworm (FAW). Officials have inspected at least 4,599 hectares of land, of which fall armyworms were detected in 2,840 hectares of land.