Centre steps in after locust attack spreads to five states in India
New Delhi : The Centre has stepped in after reports of five states battling with the desert locusts. 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.
“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,” the ministry said.
In India, five states - Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh – have been severely affected by the swarms moving at great speed.
“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 said on Wednesday.
According to an update, the swarm split into two groups after pesticide was sprayed between Monday night and Tuesday morning in Maharshtra. One group is moving towards Parseoni in Nagpur while the other entered Bhandara, said officials.
“The swarm travelled over 100 km on Wednesday from Andhalgaon, Mohadi taluka back into Ramtek tehsil in Nagpur, and again into Tumsar Bhandara. They have settled at orchards surrounding Temani,” said Ravindra Bhosale, divisional joint director agriculture.
The state agriculture department issued a ‘locust warning alert’ for all 11 districts in Vidarbha and four districts in north Maharashtra.
It has also been prescribed that the farmers must spray their crops with a solution based on neem seeds extract mixing with water or they can also spray their crops with neem-based pesticides available in the market by mixing with water.