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Swarms Of Locust Still Active In 15 Districts Of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh

By: Pinki Thu, 28 May 2020 10:31 AM

Swarms of locust still active in 15 districts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh

In the times when India is grappling due to the COVID-19 situation, swarms of locust attacking various parts of the country is another formidable challege the country has to tackle. According to the Agriculture Ministry, nearly 15 districts in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have experienced locust attacks which are still active.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Wednesday informed that locust control operations have been stepped up in affected states to combat the menace.

"Amidst a wave of locust swarms sweeping across western & northwestern India, Department of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare has stepped up locust control operations in affected states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh," said the Agriculture Ministry in a press release.

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The ministry further added: "As of today, there are active swarms of immature locust in Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jaipur Districts in Rajasthan and Satna, Gwalior, Seedhi, Rajgarh, Baitul, Devas, Agar Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh."

The ministry further informed that till 26 May, control operations against locusts done in 47,308-hectare area at 303 places in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh by Locust Circle Offices (LCO) in coordination with District Administration and State Agriculture Department.

In Rajasthan, 21 districts, in Madhya Pradesh 18 districts, in Punjab one district and in Gujarat 2 districts have undertaken Locust control till now. For effective control of locusts beyond scheduled desert areas, temporary control camps have been established in Ajmer, Chittorgarh and Dausa in Rajasthan; Mandsaur, Ujjain and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.

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The Ministry further informed: "89 fire brigades for pesticide spray; 120 survey vehicles; 47 control vehicles with spray equipment and 810 tractor-mounted sprayers have been deployed for effective locust control, as per requirement during different days."

For effective control of locusts beyond scheduled desert areas, temporary control camps have been established in Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Dausa in Rajasthan; Mandsaur, Ujjain, Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, the ministry added.

The ministry said it has received permission from Civil Aviation Ministry for use of drones for locust control.

"Two firms have been finalized through tender for use of drones for spray of pesticides for locust control," it added.

Currently, the Locust Control Offices have 21 Micronair and 26 Ulvamast spray machines which are being utilized for locust control.

Meanwhile, supply order for procurement of additional 55 vehicles has been placed to strengthen the control potential. Adequate stock pesticide Malathion has been maintained at Locust Control Organizations.

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Advisories have been issued to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab regarding the locust attack and necessary measures to be taken for effective control and pesticides that are to be used for effective locust control in cropped areas.

Swarms of locusts that had entered Katol and Parseoni in Nagpur district of Maharashtra over the last four days, have now moved to the neighbouring Bhandara district, an agriculture department official said.

These crop-eating pests moved to Mohadi tehsil in Bhandara district during the day on Wednesday, before being spotted in Temani village in Tumsar taluka by late night, Divisional Joint Director of Agriculture Department, Ravi Bhosle told PTI.

"The swarms of locusts on Wednesday moved to Mohadi in Bhandara district and were spotted in two villages in that tehsil. By around 10 pm, the locusts were spotted in Temani village in the district," he said.

The swarms stretching up to 17 kms in length had first entered farms in Fetri, Khangaon in Katol in Nagpur district and in Ashti taluka in Wardha district on Saturday night and Sunday where they damaged orange crop and vegetable plantations in some areas, before moving towards Parseoni tehsil on Monday night.

Besides tracking the movement of locusts, officials are now trying to displace the pest from agricultural fields, the official said.

"We have started 'Operation Locust Control' by spraying pesticides through fire tenders and flood lights," he said.

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