17 February

Bangladesh under threat of armyworm, say scientists

Bangladesh under threat of armyworm, say scientists

Scientists of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) have warned that the country is in threat of ‘fall armyworm’, a newly discovered worm which can destroy large cornfields overnight.

The new destructive worm is posing a big threat to farmers in Bangladesh and may even cause a famine-like situation, leaving farmers without any grain because of its massive destructive power, they said. Although no report of large scale attack of the worm has been received till now, BARI scientists have already started research works to address the worm.

The scientists came up with the remarks at a conference at the regional Agricultural Research Centre on Wednesday where US ambassador to Dhaka Earl R Miller was present.

Dr Syed Nurul Alam, director, planning and evaluation of BARI, presented the key note paper at the programme chaired by Dr Gobinda Chandra Biswas, chief scientific officer of the research centre.

The fall armyworm cannot be killed with chemical pesticides. They can only be controlled by applying bio-pesticides, but cannot be eradicated fully, scientists said.

The fall armyworm, the scientific name of which is Spodoptera frugiperada, is widely spread in many Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and Myanmar. Bangladesh will face an epidemic if the spread of this pest is not controlled at an early stage

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