Caterpillar – Rwandan experts in Sri Lanka to resolve Sena caterpillar menace
COLOMBO (News1st): A team of experts from the African nation of Rwanda are visiting Sri Lankan farmlands to offer a solution to the damages caused by the Fall Army Worm – a menace that has aggravated due to delayed action.
Corn farmers in the country complain that their crops are being eaten by the Fall Army Worm, locally dubbed as the Sena caterpillar, and that remedies provided by agrarian officers have proved futile.
“The Sena caterpillar has damaged 80 percent of our crops,” one farmer lamented.
Rwandan experts visited farmlands in Anuradhapura on Friday upon the invitation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to uncover a remedy to the long-standing problem.
News 1st has reported extensively on the damages caused by the caterpillar that was first detected in the Ampara district in 2018 and has since spread across several cultivations in other regions.
Namal Karunarathne, the national organizer of the All Ceylon Farmers Federation, pointed out that the caterpillar has learnt to adapt to new conditions.
“Initially, the caterpillar would leave after the corn plant matures. But this is not the case anymore. The caterpillar remains regardless of whether the plant is matured or not,” he pointed out.
Farmers lament that the repellants applied to their crops have not been effective.
“We were granted a repellant to be applied to our crops as a trial run. But it was not successful. We applied the pesticide this time as well. But it has not resolved the problem,” a farmer told News1st.