Kohima: As if the drought-like situation was not enough, the Fall Armyworm (FAW) infestation has now added to the woes of the farmers in Nagaland.
“The situation in the agricultural scenario was further aggravated through infestation by fall armyworm (FAW) during the last week of March, affecting 3048.45 hectares of maize crop covering 334 villages,” Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Kikheto Sema informed on Wednesday.
Despite interventions of the agri-allied departments, the FAW infestation could not be completely neutralised in the state, the official added.
Speaking with EastMojo, Director of the Agriculture Department, M Ben Yanthan said, “This year, the FAW infestation has happened early”. He informed that infestations were reported in March this year, unlike the other years when infestations begin in May.
Yanthan said that the changes in the infestation period could be due to a change in the climatic conditions. As reported earlier, the state is witnessing a drought-like situation after ten years due to delayed and erratic rains.
FAW was first reported in Nagaland on May 9, 2019, in the Southern Angami areas in Kohima, he informed. While the infestation is also expected in the coming years, he informed that farmers across the state are being trained to control FAW infestation.
According to the official, the FAW not only destroys the maize crops but is also likely to affect vegetables and paddy crops. He informed that the department is also coming with a pheromone trap to lure the male moths and control the multiplication of FAW.
Apart from the issue of FAW, Nagaland is also facing drought-like situation. In just four months since December last year, a total of 68,662 hectares of Jhum fields in 915 villages across Nagaland have been affected by deficient rains, causing poor germination and wilting of standing crops. With the state witnessing a drought-like situation after 10 years due to delayed and erratic rains, the Nagaland government has sought assistance from the Government of India to mitigate the effects of deficient rains.
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