President declares war on fall armyworm caterpillar

President Maithripala Sirisena has declared war on the fall armyworm caterpillar and instructed officials to launch a national programme to eradicate the threat posed by the caterpillar also known as Sena.

The President’s media division said that President Sirisena had today given instructions to the relevant authorities to fulfill their respective duties with commitment and in an efficient manner to control the spread of the caterpillar.

The President had further instructed the authorities to jointly implement a program to spray pesticide with the assistance of the public as well as the private sector and conduct a national programme within a time frame.

He gave the instructions during a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat today.

A Presidential task force has already been established to supervise the program.

The President also instructed the Deputy Minister of Mahaweli, Ajith Mannapperuma and an Additional Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat and senior representatives of the Ministry of Plantation Industries to coordinate the work of the Presidential task force.

In addition, the President stated that an awareness program must be implemented for farmers and farmer organizations to educate them on the imperative need to control and eliminate the pest.

Ministers P. Harison and Daya Gamage, State Minister Amir Ali, and the secretary the Ministry of Mahaweli and Environment Anura Disanayake, Director General of Mahaweli, Dr. B.M.S. Dissanayake, Commissioner General of Agrarian Services and Wildlife W.M.M.B. Weerasekara and Director General of Agriculture W.M.W. Weerakoon were also present at the discussion. (Colombo Gazette)

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