Written by Staff Writer
19 Jan, 2019 | 9:15 pm
Colombo (News1st): The Sena Caterpillar menace has now spread to the Nuwara Eliya district. The Department of Agriculture says that programs have been launched in several parts of the island to control the spread of this menace. In addition, samples of the Sena caterpillar have been sent to the United States of America to research on the life cycle of the worm.
Our correspondent in the area said that the caterpillar was reported from fields in Hatton. Meanwhile, farmers in Ampara charge that the Sena caterpillar has completely destroyed their harvest.
Deputy Director of Agriculture at Ampara Inter Provincial Office H. T. Lakmal noted that once the corn is harvested, its remains must be destroyed immediately, if not the life cycle of the caterpillar will continue and it will pose a major risk to all other crops.
Meanwhile, farmers expressed their views on the non-receipt of agriculture insurance funds. They noted that all of them have obtained loans from state banks to engage in farming and when they request for a Rs.50,000 loan, they only receive Rs.40,000.
Farmers charge that when they inquired about this they were told that the balance Rs.10,000 is for insurance and now ask the farmers are requested to contact the Agriculture Insurance Committee.
Further inquiring into this matter, the Director General of the Agriculture Insurance Board, Panduka Weerasingha, stated that he will immediately look into this to discuss with the relevant state banks provide a solution. He stated that the farmers who had obtained insurance, will not face any injustice.
Meanwhile, several areas that sell corn in the Gampaha district, were subject to inspection by regional Health Officers. The health officers found caterpillars inside several corn cobs, and destroyed them immediately.
Shops that sold corn in the Gannoruwa area were also subject to health inspection, with the assistance of the central province agriculture department.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Anura Wijetunga noted that there is a possibility of this creature spreading to other crops since corn crops are now maturing. He added that any pesticide which has been recommended on the leaflet which has been handed over to create awareness on Sena caterpillar can be used.
Wijetunga noted that after using certain pesticide, there needs to be a certain time gap before the crops can be reaped.
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