New Delhi (NVI): The Centre has taken various steps to control locust swarms, and carried out operations in nearly 4.3 lakh hectares area since April 11 to prevent crop losses.
Elaborating on the actions, the release by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare stated that on the intervening night of July 26-27, locust control operations were carried out at 36 places in 9 districts – Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur, Jhunjhunu, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar of Rajasthan and 1 place in Kutch district of Gujarat against swarms and hoppers by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs).
Swarms of immature pink locusts, adult yellow locusts and hoppers are active in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur, Sriganganagar, Jhunjhunu, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar of Rajasthan and 1 place in Kutch district of Gujarat.
Starting from April 11, control operations have been done in 2,14,642 hectares area in states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by LCOs. In addition to this, till July 26, 2020, control operations have also been carried out in 2,14,130 hectares area by these state governments.
However, no significant crop losses have been reported in the Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. Some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan.
“Presently, 104 control teams with spray vehicles are deputed /deployed in State of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and more than 200 Central Government personnel are engaged in locust control operations,” the statement said.
Further, five companies with 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.
A Bell helicopter has been deployed in Rajasthan for use in Scheduled Desert Area as per the need. Indian Air Force also has conducted trials in anti-locust operation by using a Mi-17 helicopter.
Food and Agriculture Organization’s Locust Status Update indicates that the risk of swarm migration from Horn of Africa prevails in coming weeks. In Somalia, the swarms are moving eastwards across the north and a limited number of swarms could migrate across the Indian Ocean to the Indo-Pakistan border area, during the remainder of this month.