UN’s FAO committed to help SL to combat worm menace

Published : 12:51 am  January 25, 2019 | No comments so far |  | 


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  • it will monitor the situation in lanka and provide assistance


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said that it remains committed to supporting the concerned national authorities to manage the pest and to protect the Sri Lankan farmer community’s livelihoods.   

The Organization will continue to monitor the situation in Sri Lanka and provide any technical assistance/expertise requested by the Government.   

A statement from the FAO said the Fall Armyworm (FAW) or Spodoptera frugiperda has been reported in all major maize growing areas in Sri Lanka and is also affecting sugarcane cultivation. There is a growing concern that it may affect other crops, including rice.  Native to the Americas, FAW was first detected in Central and Western Africa in early 2016 and quickly spread across virtually all of Sub-Saharan Africa. In July 2018, it was confirmed in India in Karnataka state and since then it has been found in seven other States including in Tamil Nadu. FAW was also detected in Yemen in 2018 and has now reached Sri Lanka.   

In the absence of natural control or good management, the FAW can cause significant damage to crops and affect the livelihoods of farmers. Once established in a new area, FAW cannot be practically eradicated. It becomes one more pest that farmers need to learn about and manage.  Raising awareness about the FAW and understanding lessons learned from other parts of the world, including available management options are essential first steps in responding adequately to the situation in Sri Lanka. In this regard, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has shared background information with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture on the biology and ecology of the FAW, on how to scout the pest, and on management strategies.