Rwandan delegation to help Sri Lanka control Fall armyworm | Daily News

Rwandan delegation to help Sri Lanka control Fall armyworm

The Rwandan delegation having discussion with Army Commander General Shavendra Silva at the Army HQ.
The Rwandan delegation having discussion with Army Commander General Shavendra Silva at the Army HQ.

The delegation from Rwanda who arrived in Sri Lanka to explore possibilities of providing scientific expertise to control the Fall armyworm on maize cultivations in the North Central Province and elsewhere on an initiative taken by the President, paid a courtesy call on Defence Chief of Staff and Army Commander General Shavendra Silva at the Army HQ at the end of their two-day long fact-finding mission.

The delegation of scientists, agrarian experts and pest-control experts from Rwanda, in less than 72 hours after the President turned to them seeking their consultations on a priority basis chartered a special flight and landed in Colombo on Thursday (31) and met their counterparts at the Agriculture Ministry before a field visit to Elayapattuwa in Anuradhapura.

The delegation first met Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Ministry Secretary Major General (retd) Sumedha Perera, Director General Dr. W.M.W Weerakoon, along with a few senior State officials from Agricultural sectors and Agrarian services, Major General Pradeep Silva, Director General General Staff of the Army, Major General Indrajith Kandanaarchchi, Director General, Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock at Colombo where presentations on the extent of the menace in question were tabled before the Rwandan delegation. The Rwandan experts presented their experiences in the control of the pest in their country, where corn plantations are done on a mass scale.

The delegation included Brig Gen Fred Muziraguharara, Alexis Rusagara (Horizon Group COO), Jean Marie Vianney Uzamugura (Agropy Production Manager), Priscille Ingabire, Crop Protection, Leon Hakizamungu, Crop Protection Technician, and Bellancille Uzayisenga, Crop Protection Research Fellow and 11 crew members.

The delegation made a field visit to Elayapattuwa in Anurdhapura and saw how the Fall armyworm has invaded maize plantations in Anuradhapura. The visit of the Rwandan delegation was made possible after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently visited the affected corn fields at the invitation of Ven Eethalawetunuwewe Gnanatileke Thera, Incumbent of Mirisawetiya.

At the Commander's office, the delegation gave a summary of their findings and observations in Anuradhapura and assured their fullest cooperation to eradicate threat after a detailed report was prepared by them after returning to Rwanda on Friday (1). General Shavendra Silva expressed his profound gratitude to the delegation and presented them with a few compliments and mementoes before they ended their itinerary in Sri Lanka.