Aizawl( Mizoram) , May 18 : The state Agriculture Department is taking steps to increase maize production despite an outbreak of the Fall Army Worm (FAW), which has left a trail of destruction in the maize fields across the state.
The state likely to see an increase in maize production, despite the FAW outbreak.
According to officials in the Agriculture department, the production of maize in the state was 8,911 metric ton in 5,779 hectares in 2016-17 while it was 9,470.6 metric ton in 5,979.2 hectares in 2017-18.
“We expect a high increase in the cultivation area and production in view of the department’s concentration on maize cultivation in the low-lying areas of central Mizoram’s Serchhip district under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY),” the officials said.
Additional seeds have been distributed to the maize farmers for Rabi and Kharif crops, though the FAW “has been a big blow” to the cultivators.
The officials are hopeful that a large number of maize plants will have normal yield following efforts made by the department in containing the outbreak and mitigating the losses.
So far, outbreak of the maize attacking FAW has infested 68 per cent of the maize cultivation areas in Mizoram affecting 2,424 hectares of the 3,539 hectares of the total maize fields being surveyed and 6,625 maize cultivating families.
The first case of FAW incidence was identified at Nghasih area near Lunglei town on April 8 and had then spread to all the eight districts in the state.
The Rapid Response Team made efforts to mitigate the losses of the maize cultivators by using pesticides and also educating the farmers how to use the pesticides.
(With PTI inputs)