Locust Control Offices (LCOs) on Friday conducted control operations at 15 locations in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Union Agriculture Ministry said, adding that no crop loss was reported. Locust control operations were conducted at 10 locations in districts of Jaipur, Dausa, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Barmer, Chittorgarh, Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan) and Niwari and Shivpuri (Madhya Pradesh).
Besides, the Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Department also undertook control operations at 5 locations, one each in the Satna, Balaghat, Niwari, Raisen and Shivpuri districts. As on May 28, a total of 377 spots covering 53,997 hectares have been covered since locust control operations started from April 11, the Ministry said in a statement.
Locust operations have been conducted in 11 districts of Rajasthan, 24 of Madhya Pradesh, three in Maharashtra, two each in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh and one in Punjab. Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare Secretary, Sanjay Agarwal on Friday organised a meeting, via video conference, with the Principal Secretary, Agriculture, of all the states and UTs, said the statement.
All the states and UTs were informed about the latest status and control of locust attack and an an advisory was issued in respect of locusts to all the states/UTs. A letter was issued on Wednesday by the Union Home Secretary to the Chief Secretaries of all the states/UTs giving necessary instructions to streamline the inter-state movement facility for the personnel engaged in locust control works.
The MHA has included hiring of vehicles/tractors with spray equipment for spraying of plant protection chemicals for pest control, hiring of water tankers, and purchase of plant protection chemicals for locust control in this and the norms related to the quantum of assistance will be limited to the actual expenditure incurred on these items. However, expenditure should not exceed 25 per cent of SDRF allocation for the year, said the statement.
As per FAOs Locust Status Bulletin of May 27, several successive waves of invasions can be expected until July in Rajasthan with eastward surges across northern India as far as Bihar and Odisha, followed by westward movements and a return to Rajasthan on the changing winds associated with the monsoon. These movements will cease as swarms begin to breed and become less mobile. Swarms are less likely to reach south India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. (IANS)