Sri Lanka monk promotes home-grown methods to kill Armyworms

ECONOMYNEXT – Athureliya Rathana thero, a Sri Lanka Bhuddist monk who is a legislator said home grown methods should be used to kill off an invasion of Fall Armyworms instead of relying on pesticides produced by multinational firms.

The larvae of the Fall Armyworm moth is infesting Sri Lanka’s maize, sugar cane and vegetable farms, after apparently arriving from India.

Rathana Thero said farmers and local experts have found many methods to kill them off.

"Early in the morning ash has to be put on the infected plant," he told parliament. "The worm will choke. It is a simple solution."

He said crushed seeds of the Neem plant was also effective against the pest. Waste cinnamon was also being used in the South of the island, he said.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Agriculture has recommended several pesticides which acts against Lepidoptera species to combat the menace.

Agriculture Minister P Harrison said such methods were also advocated by the Department of Agriculture in addition to pesticides.

The monk strongly advocated that Sri Lanka ban glyphosate a weedkiller. (Colombo/Jan23/2018)

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