American armyworm wreaks havoc in Province 1

Biratnagar, October 21

American armyworm has destroyed maize planted by more than 10,000 farmers in eight districts of Province 1.

The insect, which had appeared about a month ago in Okhaldhunga of the province, has destroyed the maize planted by farmers in 2,710 hectare land.

According to Province 1 Agriculture Directorate, Biratnagar, the insect had destroyed maize, particularly in Panchthar. The worm has also destroyed corn in Okhaldhunga, Bhojpur, Khotang, Dhankuta, Terhathum, Udayapur and Jhapa districts.

Information Officer Prakash Dangi in the directorate said American armyworm had destroyed corn in all the districts of the province.

According to Dangi, the insect destroyed maize planted by 180 farmers in 500 hectare land of Okhaldhunga. Similarly, the worm also destroyed the corn planted in 22 hectare land in Udayapur. Likewise, corn was destroyed in 289 hectare land planted by 289 farmers in Bhojpur.

Dangi said the insect had destroyed maize planted by 6,632 farmers in 1,345 hectare land in Panchthar as well. Corn planted in 222 hectare land by 660 farmers was also destroyed in Khotang.

In Dhankuta, the corn planted by local farmers in 181 hectare land was destroyed. The insect has also destroyed corn planted in 148 hectare land in Terhathum and three hectare land in Jhapa.

Crops Conservation Officer Saraswati Shrestha of Agriculture Development Directorate of Province 1 said the American armyworm was an insect of the butterfly group. She said even the larva of the insect liked corn.

“The insect can fly 100 kilometres in search of residence and proper food,” she added. Shrestha said the insect was found in the cold areas of the American continent and it had entered the country via India.

The insect was seen in India’s Karnataka in May 2018.