Sri Lankan President instructs to fight Fall Armyworm infestation on a war footing

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena today instructed the relevant authorities to take steps to control the rapidly speeding Fall Armyworm (Sena caterpillar) infestation with a dedication equal to fighting a war.

President Maithripala Sirisena instructed the officials to fulfill their respective duties with great commitment and an efficient manner with a war footing to control the Fall Army (Sena) caterpillar, which poses a massive threat to the agricultural crops.

Meeting with the relevant officials at the Presidential Secretariat today to discuss the immediate measures need to be taken to address the devastation, the President further instructed the officials to launch a national program with a given time frame to address the menace and implement a pesticide system with the assistance of the public and the private sectors.

The discussion focused on finding swift measures to minimize the harm caused by fall armyworm. At present several steps are being taken in this regard and a Presidential Task force has also been established under the guidance of the President to supervise the program.

The President pointed out the need for the task force to meet regularly and take prompt decisions to curb the disaster.

The President also instructed the Deputy Minister of Mahaweli, Ajith Mannapperuma and an Additional Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat and a senior representative of the Ministry of Plantation Industries to coordinate the work of the Presidential Task Force.

In addition, the President advised to implement an awareness program aiming farmers and farmer organizations.

Ministers P. Harrison and Daya Gamage, State Minister Amir Ali, and the Secretary of Mahaweli and Environment Ministry and several other government officials also attended the meeting.

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