BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Tuesday urged local authorities to step up efforts to prevent and control the crop-eating pest, fall armyworm.
Fall armyworm was first detected in China in January 2019 and has spread across China's southern and southwestern areas, affecting 92,267 hectares of farmland in 14 provincial-level regions including Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou and Henan.
After invading the African continent in 2016, the pest then spread to India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and six other Asian nations in 2018.
The pest has wreaked havoc in many countries, leading to a 20-30 percent reduction in corn and sugarcane output in parts of Africa and Asia. Some areas even saw complete crop failures.
The ministry urged local authorities to strengthen monitoring and early warning of the pest and provide scientific guidance on pest control.
Agricultural departments at all levels should intensify their promotion of information on fall armyworm and training of agricultural technicians and farmers for controlling the pest, the ministry said.