First found in the Americas, fall armyworm has spread through Africa and Asia since 2016, with the moths flying up to 100 km a night. It can't be eradicated and its management is both costly and difficult. This poses a formidable challenge in China where about 90 per cent of crop production comes from small farms of less than a hectare.
Union Minster of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Parshottam Rupala launched a dedicated website on August 2, 2019 to help farmers fight against the dreaded Fall Armyworm (FAW). FAW (Spodoptera frugiperda) is an invasive and polyphagous (feeding on many foods) pest. It can attack cereals and forage grasses.
The locusts devour green vegetation wherever the flock settles. The conventional means of control are use of insecticides from the ground or the air, preferably the latter. The district president of Sindh Agriculture Chamber, Serai Nisar Hussain Khaskhely, said that over 100,000 acres of cotton crop are likely to be affected if the federal and provincial governments do not take instantly step to control the looming locusts.
Taiwan is on “high alert” for further damage by the fall armyworm, said Premier Su Tseng-chang on Tuesday, after the island reported its first sighting of the invasive pest in a corn field. The fall armyworm, which has spread rapidly across Asia in recent months, was found in Miaoli county on the island’s northwest coast on Saturday, said the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) in a statement on Monday.
Honduran conservationists are worried. A deadly insect that wiped out more than a quarter of the Central American country's conifers between 2013 and 2017 is back. The southern pine beetle - or gorgojo, as it is known locally - appears in large numbers during droughts brought on by El Nino, a climatic phenomenon that occurs every few years and can be a threat to agriculture and even drinking water sources.
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