The fall armyworm, an insect native to the Americas, landed in Africa in 2016, and in June 2018, was sighted in Karnataka. In just a few months, it has spread to nine more states, feeding not only on maize, its favourite crop, but also on millets and sorghum. Scientists are concerned about this outbreak because the fall armyworm has an appetite for 100+ crops, including India’s major food and cash crops. If the insect reaches others parts of Asia, scientists predict it could impact the continent’s food security.
India Is Fighting Malaria Deaths, And Succeeding
Thousands of farmers marched to parliament in Delhi in late November 2018 to demand guaranteed and remunerative purchase prices for crops as well as total loan waiver. A bouquet of policies is needed to ensure assured income for farmers, says Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India and national convener of Jai Kisan Andolan, a farmers’ rights movement. In an interview with IndiaSpend, Yadav speaks of his party’s intention to defend the republic in an “extraordinary and unique” parliamentary election in 2019, his views on the central government’s controversial crop insurance scheme, and the impact of the current assembly elections on the upcoming general election.