AIZAWL, May 12 - Mizoram Agriculture Minister C Lalrinsanga has sought the help of the state�s largest organisation Young Mizo Association to combat the invading pests on a war footing.
The meeting held here on Friday evening, the Minister, agriculture officials and leaders of central committee of the YMA discussed ways to control the pests before they attack the entire farmlands in the highly- agriculture dependent state.
The minister said the FAW has taken them off guard and within a short span of time the pests spread to the entire districts of Mizoram.
�The government and the department alone are not enough to combat the pests, but we need concerted efforts involving all the citizens to fight to tackle this problem on war footing as it has already become a threat to the livelihood of many farmers,� he said.
The outbreak caused by Spodoptera Frugiperda, an insect, has affected maize cultivation in 1,747.9 hectares in 122 villages, causing an estimated loss of Rs 20 crore, the minister said.
The state government has constituted a Rapid Response Team to monitor the outbreak and take measures to mitigate the loss of crops, he said.
Agriculture department director Rohmingthanga Colney, who attended the meeting said that chemical pesticides and organic ones were being used to kill the worm in maize fields.
�Concerted efforts are being made to contain the outbreak which was first detected in Lunglei district on March 8,� Colney said.
After receiving warning from the Centre, the state Agriculture department had sent warnings to all the District Agriculture Officers on February 27 on the possibility of incidence of FAW in the state.
He said that four scientists from the Indian Institute of Maize Research will visit Mizoram on May 15.