The maize crops in Brunei Darussalam is being invaded by the Fall Armyworm, an invasive agricultural pest. The findings were based on the monitoring carried out by the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism. While the Fall Armyworm has a preference for maize, it can also affect at least 80 types of cultivated crops which include paddy, chili and leafy vegetables.
The invasion of Fall Armyworm brings risk to the country’s agriculture industry production, especially the paddy industry. Therefore the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism has taken several measures to break the life cycle of the worm and reduce its reproduction. A written instruction for all local maize farmers to destroy their maize plantation was issued in accordance with Section 13 (1) of the Agricultural Pests and Noxious Plants Act, Chapter 43. Failing to comply with the orders is a violation which carries the penalty of six months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000 as stated under Section 14 of the same Act.
The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism is seeking the public’s cooperation in destroying their crops immediately. This can be done by cutting down the crops and carry out control burning until only ashes remain. The ashes then must be mixed into the soil and spray it with recommended insecticide to ensure the cocoons inside the soil are destroyed. Finally, let the land rest for three months without any maize cultivation to break the cycle of the Fall armyworm. The ministry will continue to monitor the situation to control worm’s invasion to ensure that the farm’s output is not affected. The public’s cooperation is highly needed to destroy the maize crops in hope of collectively maintaining the country’s agricultural industry and guarantee food security.
Source: Radio Television Brunei