Microbiologists find bio-insecticide to control Fall Armyworm in maize | Daily News

Microbiologists find bio-insecticide to control Fall Armyworm in maize

A group of young microbiologists working at the Sarabhumi Lanka Bioproduct Institute, a local institution, has produced a successful bio-insecticide to control the Fall Armyworm prevalent in the maize cultivation in Sri Lanka.  

The institution presented this to Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Ministry Secretary Gunadasa Samarasinghe in a discussion held at the Agriculture Ministry with information about their product.

This product is fully eco-friendly and does not harm any other eco-friendly organisms. Currently, this product is made using a bacterium found in the country’s environment and because this insecticide can be applied at the lowest price, the farmer does not have to spend a lot of money to control armyworm damage.

The cost of applying this insecticide for an acre of maize is Rs.5000. Farmers have to spend Rs. 25,000 to 30,000 per acre due to the insecticides currently being used.

This biological product has been used as a sample for maize cultivation in Tirappane area and Fall ArmyWorm has been destroyed 100 percent.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera advised the Ministry Secretary and Agriculture Department Director General Malathi Parasuraman to take appropriate measures to allow this product to be used in the country immediately.

The Ministry decided to try using this bio-insecticide for maize cultivation in several other districts in the country where there is army caterpillar damage, however, because this product is not harmful to the environment because it is a biological product, the Ministry decided to give permission to apply the crops where army caterpillar damage is currently present. The minister said the government will give all support that a local agency and a group of young scientists in our country can give to the production of this successful bio-insecticide to combat the armyworm, which has caused great destruction to the maize cultivation in our country.

The minister also instructed the institute to look for a remedy for the nematode disease that is currently spreading in relation to rice cultivation.


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