FAO rings alarm about rising Crop-damaging armyworms in Asia

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has expressed concerns over the increasing menace of Crop-damaging armyworms in Asia.

Concerns Expressed by FAO

  • Farming in several Asian countries is under threat from a type of crop-damaging insects that have munched their way from the Americas and across Africa.
  • These flying insects arrived in India in July and have since spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China’s Yunnan province.
  • These insects feed mostly on maize and can feed on several species of crops, including rice and sugarcane.
  • Armyworms which are native to the Americas have been moving eastwards since 2016 sweeping across Africa where they caused $1-3 billion in damage, before arriving in Asia.

The FAO had convened a meeting of officials from affected countries and experts for discussing ways to limit armyworm infestations amid a “growing sense of alarm”. FAO called on the nations to work together since pest has no respect for international boundaries and it threatens food security, economy, domestic and international trade.

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