After 26 years in the country, about 90 thousand hectares of crops have been uprooted by the worst attack by locust. The assessment has now been released on the basis of 20 districts of Rajasthan. The figure of crops and greenery in the grip of locust parties is set to rise further. Apart from Rajasthan, locusts are invading in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
In Rajasthan, officials said on Thursday that after entering the state from Pakistan, locusts spread their terror in about 20 states including the capital Jaipur. The assessment so far has brought out damage to 90 thousand hectares of crops and greenery in these districts.
90 Thousand hectares of crops destroyed in Locust attack
According to Agriculture Commissioner Om Prakash, locust came through Sriganganagar, Nagaur, Jaipur, Dausa, Karauli, and Sawai Madhopur have taken the stand of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The department has launched a campaign to control locust in an area of about 67 thousand hectares. He termed the shortage of standing crops in Pakistan as a major reason for the terrible attack by locust this time.
The Delhi government has issued an advisory in view of the possible attack by locusts in the national capital. The advisory was issued on Thursday after a meeting of concerned officials at the residence of Labour Minister Gopal Rai. The officers have been ordered to spray pesticide slurry during night time. It has also been asked to undertake awareness campaigns for farmers and others. According to the additional Chief Secretary of Haryana (Agriculture and Farmers Welfare) Sanjeev Kaushal, Sirsa, Faridabad, Hissar, Bhiwani, Pulley Dadri, Mahendrgarh and Rewari have been placed on high alert on the possibility of locust attack. Karnataka has constituted a committee to test the possibility of reaching the locust team. Odisha has also issued advisories.
In Uttar Pradesh, locusts were eliminated through pesticide spraying in Jhansi and Sonbhadra districts from Wednesday night to Thursday morning. A large herd of locusts with a spread of about one square kilometer was attacked on Wednesday evening in moth and Garthatha areas of Jhansi, according to The Lekill Agriculture deputy director Kamal Katiyar.
The locusts have reached about 50 districts of the country and are not causing havoc. The Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) of the Union Ministry of Agriculture has cautioned that the present locust problem may also be a new breed of locusts.
L Gurjar, deputy director, LWO said that an adult female locust lays 80 to 90 eggs three times in its three-month life cycle. If these eggs are not destroyed, 4 to 8 crore locusts will appear in a herd per square kilometer. The Kharif crop of farmers is also ready during July, August, and September, which can be chewed up by these locust parties in the initiative. He said that as soon as the monsoon is on in the vacant fields, their breeding will be rampant. The new breed will be a nuisance due to the laying of eggs in the vacant fields. Because the order of giving the eggs will continue for two more months. The time for the Kharif crop to be upgraded and the new generation of locusts will be almost the same.