Chennai, Jan 6:
Following reports about the havoc played by fall armyworm, an invasive pest from United States in many districts on maize crop, Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar on Saturday announced in the Assembly that relief assistance will be given to farmers who had cultivated maize if the damage is above 33 per cent.
Responding to demands by many members during question hour, he said, “The issue was taken up with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. In case of rainfed maize, Rs 7,410 per hectare would be given as relief assistance to farmers. For irrigated maize, Rs13,500 per hectare would be given as assistance. In both cases, the damage to crops due to the invasive pest should be above 33 per cent.”
Armyworm, a deadly invasive pest which spread to countries, including Brazil and Argentina, and African continent, was observed in maize varieties in June last in Karnataka. Around six months ago, it spread to Karur in Tamil Nadu. Recently, the State government granted Rs 4 crore for providing pheromone traps and pesticides to weed out this pest.