October 16, 2019
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    Five chemicals identified for Sena worm

    January 20, 2019

    Plants sprayed with chemicals to counter the spread of the Sena worm should not be used as animal feed as they could affect the people who consume animal products, Agricultural and Livestock officials warned.Agriculture Department Director General W.M.W. Weerakoon told the Sunday Times that five liquid chemicals had been identified to be sprayed on plants, including maize, infested with the Sena worm.

    “However, the plants, once sprayed should not be immediately used as animal feed as the chemical residue in the plant could enter the system of the animal and its products could have an impact on the people who consume them,” he explained.He said farmers were advised to use the silage process whereby the plant was kept for a prolonged period before being used as animal feed.

    The Sena worm, meanwhile, had spread throughout the country by Friday affecting maize, vegetable crops and sugar cane, with farmers complaining their cultivations had been destroyed.Dr. Weerakoon said they believed that the particular moth had come from India with the winds as it had the capability of travelling about 80 km a day.

    He said the maize harvest period would end in two weeks and there was a danger that the worm could spread to other crops. He said that of some 80,000 hectares of maize, 20,000 hectares had been destroyed due to the worm.The DG said the Department had sought advice from the Food and Agricultural Organisation, while four Thai experts are due to here to help in the battle against the worm.

    Meanwhile, the Health Department’s Animal Production Director General, K.D. Ariyapala, told the Sunday Times said large scale dairy farms were rejecting maize-based animal feed. He said they would meet President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss measures to counter the epidemic.

    Agriculture Minister P. Harrison said he would seek cabinet approval to pay compensation to maize farmers whose crops had been destroyed.


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