Fall amyworms have now invaded a cornfield at Wahong village in Mushuru area, north of Ukhrul town in Ukhrul District, Manipur. The fall armyworm (spodoptera frugiperda) is regarded as a pest and can damage and destroy a wide variety of crops, which causes large scale economic damage to the farmers.
Wungnaopam Shatsang, a villager told this correspondent that the villagers were alarmed by the sudden presence of fall armyworms at the cornfield situated at Mushuru area of Challou River.
Another villager, Thotngachan Zimik informed that their cornfield at Mushuru has been attacked by the pests. He informed that this is the first time the villagers are witnessing such attacks. Zimik also recalled that Cyclone Mora in 2017 had destroyed the canal to their paddy field and thereafter, they could no longer cultivate paddy on the same area. The paddy yield from this field was about 4,000 tins.
This year, 13 households of Mushuru Loulup had taken up corn plantation to meet their needs. Thotngachan Zimik informed that the insects have eaten the young shoots and leaves of the corn. He lamented that their hard work has been reduced to naught by the invasion from this insects.
Fall armyworm was first reported in Africa in 2016. In 2018, it began to spread widely in India. The species has been noted to consume over 80 different plants.
Wahong village is about 130 kilometers away from Ukhrul and about 10 kilometers away from Indo-Myanmar Border Pillar Number 130. As per 2011 census, Wahong has 148 households with the total of 537 people of which 275 are male and 262 are female.