New Delhi (NVI): The Centre has taken various steps to control locust swarms, and carried out operations in more than 5.22 lakh hectares area in 10 states till August 8.
Starting from April 11 till August 8, locust control operations have been done in 2,58,406 hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs), a official statement by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said.
The control operations have also been done in 2,64,491 hectares area in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar, till August 9 by the state governments.
Further, the release stated that, the control operations were carried out during day and night yesterday, at 46 places in 7 districts viz. Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Nagaur, Churu, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar of Rajasthan and Kutch district of Gujarat against hoppers and some scattered adults by LCOs.
At present, 104 control teams with spray vehicles are deployed in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and more than 200 central government personnel are engaged in locust control operations.
Furthermore, 15 drones are deployed at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Phalodi in Rajasthan for effective control of locusts on tall trees and in inaccessible areas through spraying of pesticides. These drones are used in hopper control also and a bell helicopter has been deployed in Rajasthan for use in Scheduled Desert Area as per the need.
Indian Air Force is also conducting trials in anti-locust operation by using a Mi-17 helicopter, the statement said.
Meanwhile, no significant crop losses have been reported in the States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan.
Yesterday, hoppers and some scattered locust adults were active in Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Nagaur, Churu, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar of Rajasthan and in Kutch district of Gujarat, it added.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Locust Status Update of August 7, desert locust swarms continue to persist in several countries in Horn of Africa and Yemen and summer breeding is in progress on both sides of Indo-Pak border.
In addition to this, weekly virtual meeting is being organized by FAO on Desert Locust of South-West Asian countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan). So far, 20 virtual meetings of the technical officers of South West Asian countries have taken place.