COLOMBO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday established a special presidential task force to contain the spread of the Fall Armyworm pest that has ravaged the agriculture crops of the country.
The Presidential Office said in a statement that the president addressed the first meeting of this task force at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on Tuesday.
The president instructed the government officials to work out a mechanism to contain the spread of this pest with the participation of both state and private sectors.
Agriculture Minister P.Harrison told Xinhua that infestation had affected maize, rice and vegetable crops in the main farming districts of the country.
"We can control the pest. But, it is difficult to eradicate it completely," he said.
The minister also said the affected farmers would be compensated for their damaged crops.