The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) together with other agencies that are members of the Bagworm Control Action Committee have increased efforts to control bagworm attacks in smallholders’ plantations and oil palm plantations in Hilir Perak.
The results of the monitoring and census data recorded in the first quarter of 2022 saw that almost the entire area of bagworm attacks exceeding 15,000 hectares, including smallholders’ areas around Hilir Perak, are now free from the threat of bagworm attacks.
The Perak Hilir Bagworm Control Action Committee was established in 2018 which involved the participation of representatives of estates in the Besout FELDA Cluster, Ladang Air Kuning (PPPNP), Ladang Untuk Rakyat (PPPNP), Ladang Pahlawan (PPPNP), Ladang Selinsing (PPPNP), Ladang MAIPK Sungkai, Ladang RISDA Serigala, Southern Perak Plantation (SPP), Ladang Ulu Basir (UP Plantation), Dominion Rubber, Sri Gandar Plantation, Ladang Tumbuh (PPN), FELCRA Seberang Perak, YP Nomines Holding and smallholders’ representatives.
Apart from that, the committee also comprises officers from the Plant Biosecurity Division, Department of Agriculture Malaysia to monitor the implementation of Act 167 Dangerous Pest Insects for the bagworms.
The establishment of the Action Committee and the cooperation of the management of FELDA Wilayah Trolak have succeeded in achieving a reduction of up to 97 percent control of bagworm attacks in FELDA Gugusan Besout.
A reduction of more than 95 percent in the population of bagworms was also reported in MAIPK Sungkai Farm, RISDA Serigala Farm, Southern Perak Plantation (SPP), Gugusan Air Kuning Farm and independent smallholders’ areas.
"The majority of areas that have been attacked by bagworms are now free from the threat. The population of bagworms in the oil palm plantation areas in Hilir Perak has declined below the threshold value of economic damage. The cooperation and commitment of the members of the Action Committee had a huge impact in the success of tackling the bagworm attacks in Hilir Perak,” said Director General of MPOB Datuk Dr. Ahmad Parveez Hj. Ghulam Kadir.
The Hilir Perak Bagworm Control Action Committee conducts regular monitoring to get the latest status of bagworm attacks as well as control of independent smallholders' plantations and oil palm plantations.
“Besides, among the activities carried out under the program by the Action Committee involve visits and inspections every three months by MPOB to plantations that have been attacked by bagworms to ensure that the management of the plantations take appropriate control measures in dealing with the threat of the bagworms.
Plantations that fail to reduce the rate of bagworm attacks will have to report to the committee for the implementation of further remedial measures.
He said one of the approaches recommended by MPOB in the control of bagworms is the environmentally friendly method of integrated pest management or Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Emphasis has also been placed in the continuous monitoring and census of population of bagworms in the plantations which is the key in ensuring that the population of bagworms can be controlled, he said.
He added that effective control strategies that involve that of long-term such as the cultivation of beneficial plants in oil palm plantations must be implemented by all parties.
“For independent oil palm smallholders, MPOB supplies beneficial crops for free. MPOB also conducted census of bagworm populations, spraying bio insecticides using drones, stem injection as well as the installation of natural pheromone traps which are implemented free of charge.