19 August 2020, New Delhi: Locust control operations have been going on across the northern states of the country. The operations have crossed 5.63 lakh hectares on Wednesday.
Presently, 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. 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. Drones are used in hopper control also. A Bell helicopter has been deployed in Rajasthan for use in Scheduled Desert Area as per the need.
Rajasthan State has reported minor crop loss due to locust. No significant crop losses have been reported in the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana.
As on date, hoppers are active in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, Churu and Hanumangarh of Rajasthan and Kutch district of Gujarat.
As per the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Locust Status Update of 14 August 2020, swarms persist in the Horn of Africa. Due to good rains in Yemen, more hopper bands and swarms are likely to be form. Hopper groups and bands continue to form along the Indo-Pakistan border.
FAO is keeping a tab on the locust movement through weekly virtual meeting of South-West Asian countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan).