Plantations in Naga Self-Administrative Zone suffered from pest problems

The plantations in Nanyun and Pansaung in the Naga Self-Administrative Zone have been plagued with an unexpected and serious pest outbreak, prompting emergency preventive measures, said U Sein Maung, a regional Hluttaw representative for Nanyun Township.
The damage caused by the pest outbreak was reported to the regional government through regional administrators, who provided pesticides to be used on the crops. The locals also provided insecticides.
“However, we cannot tell yet we have completely overpowered the pests,” U Sein Maung said. “Although the big insects are killed, the small creatures are still found in the plantations.”
The authorities from the self-administrative zone purchased the insecticide from Tanaing Township. The department of agriculture in Pansaung Township contributed 10-kilogram bottles of pesticide, buckets used for spraying the pesticide and a device to measure the pesticide toxicity, U Sein Maung said.
The pest outbreak is rare but devastating, farmers said.
“It is the very first time that I have suffered (from such an outbreak,” one farmer from the Pansaung area said. “The pests swallowed the whole plantation during one night and only the straws of the paddy were left.”.
Hista and Army worms destroyed plantations in 15 villages in the self-administrative zone. They are reported to be fairly large insects, officials said.
Army worms are worse than Hista because they can be eliminated only with the use of highly toxic pesticides, which are potentially harmful to farmers and consumers. Thus most farmers end up writing off the failed crop as a loss, said Daw Thida Aung, the officer from the township agriculture department.
While the extent of damage caused by pest outbreak in the Naga self-administrative region is still being compiled, so far only 155.25 acres out of 1,092 acres of plantations are found to have been badly damaged by pests, it is learnt.—Aung Thant Khaing

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