Thailand’s Swift Response to the Fall Armyworm
In Thailand, corn is an indispensable staple crop, used as an important source of feed for a thriving poultry and livestock industry, reports The Thaiger. About 1.04 million hectares of our land is used to produce corn, with this year’s yields estimated at a record high of 5.3 million tonnes.
As Thailand becomes increasingly recognized as a major world food exporter, our reliance on corn is growing to meet consumer demand for meat, both locally and globally – we are currently the third largest chicken exporter in the world. For many of us, it comes as a surprise that this ordinary but versatile crop is intrinsic in fueling our status as the “kitchen of the world”.
However, this established position and the very growth of our food economy is currently under siege from the rise of fall armyworm, a pest so damaging that it can destroy corn crops overnight. The fall armyworm is an insect native to the Americas, where it has caused significant damage for decades. With a zealous appetite for corn, the pest quickly began to ravage crops in the Africa region following its arrival in 2016, causing losses of $13.3 billion.