Armyworms infestation hits standing crops in Manipur's Ukhrul, Kamjong

Corn plants, cabbages and mustard leaves were the most affected crops.

ByRicky Angkang

Updated 11 Jun 2024, 3:50 am


In a sad development for farmers, armyworms have damaged several farms in Manipur’s Ukhrul and Kamjong districts where corn plants, cabbages and mustard leaves were the most affected crops.

The infestation has devastated farm sites under Sahamphung block in Kamjong district; Namrei, Marangphung, Kuingai and Chingjaroi villages under Chingai block in north of Ukhrul and Sirarakhong village in west of Ukhrul.

As per reports culled from different farmers, attack by armyworms is also reported in others villages too, but the damage is less severe.

The worm attacks came at a time when the state is devastated by the recent tropical cyclone remal.

Ningthar R, 60, is one of the several farmers whose corn plants and cabbages were severely damaged by the armyworms.

She sustains her family by selling farm products locally and sometimes in Ukhrul town. Though both the spouses are farmers by occupation, they have no qualms as they could feed and support their wards through the income they generate from their farm.


But alas! This season, almost 80 to 90 per cent of my corn plants and cabbages have been damaged, Ningthar, a farmer from the remote north of Ukhrul district, sighed.

Increase in temperature has made me more tense as I have sown different varieties of crops. But looking at their condition, I found that some of them had been scorched to death while the conditions of other standing crops didn’t look good at all, Ningthar said.

“All I pray is that the monsoon shower arrives early so other crops are not impacted,” she added.

Commenting on the prevailing scenario, Dr. Arati Ningombam, senior Entomology scientist at ICARNEH, Manipur Centre, said that “increase in temperature increases any insects’ activity and its population.”

On being asked whether decline in bird species due to rampant killing of birds using air guns and traps could be one of the factors for rise in insects and pests rampage, she asserted that it is one of the factors among many others.

As preventive measures, she advised to go for inter-cropping of crop plants, using more non-chemical strategies to manage insects and pests menace.

“The only way to deal with it is to face climate change collectively. Even simple acts matter,” the senior scientist further suggested.


One Animphy A, a 45-year old farmer from Sahamphung block, said that the armyworms have severely damaged their standing crops including corns, cabbages and mustard leaves.

“For a poor farmer like me who depends solely on farm produce, this is a huge setback,” she expressed with pangs of agony.

Meanwhile, a senior scientist, who is familiar with crop infestation by insects and pests, said that rainfall and high relative humidity increase the pests and disease incidence.

Concerning remedial measures, he said it depends on the type of crops and type of pest and disease. However, there is no general remedy and it is always specific to the crop and type of infestation and water stagnation in the field (other than paddy) must be avoided.

The scientist then advised the use of disease-free seeds and planting materials for the coming crop season. Always recommend seed and seedling treatment before sowing/planting, the scientist said.

It is worth mentioning that starting from scarcity of potable drinking water woes to increasing attack on standing crops and other health issues, there is a sharp surge in humidity level too with people in the town and villages admitting that the intensity of heat waves have changed indeed. Sadly, forest cover shows sharp decline as locals continue to exploit the once “paradise unexplored” region for domestic and commercial purposes.


First published:


climate changemanipur farmersmonsooncrop infestationArmyworms infestation

Ricky Angkang

Ricky Angkang

IFP Correspondent, Ukhrul, Manipur


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