Sena caterpillar spreads to Polonnaruwa

Sena caterpillar spreads to Polonnaruwa

Written by Staff Writer

18 Jan, 2019 | 10:21 pm

Colombo (News1st): The infestation of the Sena Caterpillar has caused severe problems in the agriculture sector in the country. This infestation has destroyed thousands of acres of corn cultivated in the country, and it poses a serious threat to many more crops.

More than 80 farmers in the Siyabalanduwa village in Kotiyagala, Monaragala are in debt. The shop in the village has run out of good and as all the goods have been sold on credit, the shopkeeper is also in trouble. The shop keeper told News1st that they have run out of flour, rice flour, and kerosene oil but he does not have the money to purchase these items.

He noted that he has a debt of nearly Rs. 3 million and he is confused and does not know what to do. He went onto note that he has mortgaged his land and obtained bank loans of around Rs. 1.5 million for farming and now everything has been destroyed.

During a tour in the Kajuwaththe village of the Mahaweli C division in Dimbulagala today, our Gammadda teams noticed that the Sena caterpillar has begun to spread in the Polonnaruwa district as well. 475 farming families belonging to this area have been adversely affected, due to the devastation caused by this Caterpillar, to nearly 1200 acres of corn cultivation.

Division manager of the zone R. M. S. Ratnayake noted that they are facing difficulties in selling products as no one is willing to purchase them due to the prevailing situation. He added that this is mainly due to the excess usage of chemicals. Ratnayake noted that they are compelled to consider all of the produces as waste and obsolete.

The Namal Oya farming colony in Ampara also faces a similar conundrum. Farmers in the area fear that the epidemic will spread to paddy cultivations as well. They note that the corn cultivation is already devastated and there are two to three caterpillars in one bean. Farmers charge that they have used all kinds of insecticides to little effect.

Agriculture assistant of the Namal Oya agrarian Movement Buddhika Lakmal notes that the insecticides should be used as a concentration. He added that diluting the insecticide in water is a huge mistake.

However, a senior Professor of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya notes that there is no point in spraying insecticides to paddy and other plants, especially vegetables that have not been attacked by the caterpillar. He added that the farmers must be wise and patient and use the correct mechanism to solve the issue.


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