Fall Army worm

Prelims level : Geography Mains level :
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  • A large-scale outbreak of a new pest named Fall armyworm is devastating maize crop throughout Karnataka.
  • The finding is the first report of this pest in Asia.
  • The study has confirmed the identity of the pest as Spodopte frugiperda, a native of the Western Hemisphere.
  • The pest was first reported from the São Tomé and Príncipe islands and Nigeria in 2016 and spread across sub-Saharan Africa and established in 38 countries within two years.
  • It has caused huge losses to staple cereals, especially maize and sorghum, affecting food security and trade.
  • Present outbreak of the new pest will only add to the miseries of maize farmers, who have to bear the additional cost of plant protection.

About Fall Armyworm:

  • Fall Armyworm is an insect native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas
  • In the African continent, it was first detected in Central and Western Africa in early 2016
  • In the larval stage, the insect causes damage to crops, feeding on more than 80 plant species.
  • FAW primarily affects maize, but also rice and sorghum as well as cotton and some vegetables
  • The moth can fly up to 100 km per night
  • The female moth can lay up to a total of 1000 eggs in her lifetime
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