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”.

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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.

Continue reading at The Thaiger to learn how Thailand’s Department of Agriculture responded to the first FAO warning of fall armyworm in India.