More than 10, 000 hectares of corn in four provinces were destroyed by the Fall Armyworm – (Spodoptera frugiperda) which is a new type of worm that has never been identified before in Cambodia.
Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said that as of June 11, a total of 11,142 hectares of corn fields were destroyed which are 2,544 hectares in Pailin ; 3,033 hectares in Battambang; 4,715 hectares in Banteay Meanchey and another 850 hectares in Tbong Khmum province.
“New species of worms are considered to be the main annoying pests which originated from South America. The pests can destroy more than 80 types of crops and plants, including corn, which is a favorite crop for this kind of worm.” Mr Sakhon said.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has ordered the specialists to monitor the presence of new species of worms.
Mr Sakhon said the pests posed a serious threat to the production of crops in Cambodia..
“In order to prevent outbreaks and destruction from this worm and to ensure the sustainability of production and export of corn products, the ministry wants to advise relevant institutes, all provincial department of agriculture, as well as farmers to join together in get rid of the new worm.” said Mr Sakhon.
The minister ordered the General Department of Agriculture to prepare a plan to prevent and kill this new worm effectively in order to ensure the sustainability of corn production.
“The General Department of Agriculture has to conduct survey over the destruction of crops because of the worm and promote crop protection measures to eliminate and prevent this new worm from spreading to other provinces throughout the country.” he said. “The provincial departments of agriculture have to coordinate with the General Department of Agriculture to continue monitoring and evaluating the situation of this new worms and take part in crop protection measures.”
Mr Sakhon noted that all provincial departments of agriculture should pay close attention and encourage farmers to check their corn fields regularly and when there are signs of suspicion of the new worm, they have to report immediately to the general department of agriculture. At the same time, it is necessary to check and evaluate the actual damage to prompt recovery measures.