Locust control operations have been done in 2,76,267 hectares area of six states from April 11 to August 18 by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare said on Thursday.
"Starting from April 11, 2020, till August 18, locust control operations have been done in 2,76,267 hectares area in the States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs)," said a release from Ministry of Agriculture and Family Welfare.
"Till August 18, 2020, control operations have been done in 2,87,374 hectares area in states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar by State Governments," the release informed.
Control operations were carried out during day and night time yesterday at 10 places in five districts -- Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, Churu and Hanumangarh of Rajasthan and 02 places in Kutch district of Gujarat against hoppers by LCOs.
As per the release, at present, 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.
A total of 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, it said while adding that 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," the release said.
The release highlighted that no significant crop losses have been reported in the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan, it said.
"Today (19.08.2020), 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 Locust Status Update of 14 August 2020, swarms persist in the Horn of Africa. Good rains fell in Yemen where more hopper bands and swarms are likely to form," the release said.
"Hopper groups and bands continue to form along the Indo-Pakistan border. Weekly virtual meeting on Desert Locust of South-West Asian countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan) is being organized by FAO. 22 virtual meetings of the technical officers of South West Asian countries have taken place so far," it added.