Locust Menace: Maharashtra, Punjab, UP on high alert, Centre plans to deploy drones to spray pesticides

28 May, 2020 | newsx bureau

Locust Menace National

Locust Menace: Central government on Wednesday stepped up efforts to control the spread of locust and is planning to deploy drones to spray pesticides on the locusts.

Locust Menace: Massive swarms of locusts are destroying crops across central and western India in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab. On Wednesday, the Centre government took measures to control the crop-damaging migratory pests. Union Agriculture Ministry said that the Centre is planning to deploy drones to spray pesticides in the affected areas. The report suggests that in total 21 districts in Rajasthan, 18 in Madhya Pradesh, 2 districts of Gujarat, and 1 in Punjab have undertaken locust control measures.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh is closely monitoring the situation and has also held three meetings with state agriculture ministers and representatives of companies producing pesticides. The govt has also set up 11 control rooms and is currently using specialized spraying machines in affected areas. In an official statement, the agriculture ministry said that locust attack has been controlled in 47,308-hectare areas in Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.

Not just this, the Centre has placed an order of 60 spraying machines from UK based company Micron and two other firms have also been finalized for sending drones for aerial spraying of insecticides to cover tall trees and inaccessible areas. Every year, the locust swarms enter desert areas through Pakistan in the month of June and July in monsoon but this year, the spread of locust has been reported much earlier.

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The central government has also issued advisories to Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Punjab regarding the locust attack and measures to be undertaken for effective control. Further, Maharashtra, UP, and Punjab have been put on high alert, and farmers have been asked to report all activities of locust in their areas.