Nepal | April 07, 2020

Fall armyworm destroys maize

Himalayan News Service

Sindhuli, August 26

Fall armyworm, an insect native to tropical and subtropical regions of America, has destroyed maize crops at Sunkoshi Rural Municipality in Sindhuli.

Local farmers were dispirited after the strange insect destroyed maize plants that were growing after prolonged drought. The insect destroyed maize at Dumja, Jhangajholi, Parewadanda, Nagedanda, Sitalpati, Amare, Khalte, Kanshikharka, Bohoretar, Tamling, Laxmidanda and Kalimati of Sunkoshi Rural Municipality.

A team of scientists from Nepal Agriculture Research Council has reached the affected areas.  A technician, Khila Kumari Basnet, of NARC said fall armyworm entered the country some months ago. The scientists reached Nawalparasi and proved that the insect had entered for the first time in Nepal in April-May.

The insect that is native to America was also seen in Nigeria of Africa in January 2016. It has spread to 40 African countries.

Similarly, the fall armyworm insect was seen in India’s Karnataka in May 2018. Likewise, the insect has troubled farmers in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and China, among other countries.

According to NARC scientists, the larvae of the insect has affected 80 different types of crops across the world. The
insect likes maize plants the most.

A version of this article appears in print on August 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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