#GS3 #Agriculture #PestControl
Amidst a wave of locust swarms sweeping across western and northwestern India, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) has stepped up locust control operations in the affected States of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
- At present 200 Locust Circle Offices (LCO) are conducting survey & control operations in close coordination with District Administration and agriculture field machinery of the affected States.
- Locust control operations are in full swing in coordination with State Agriculture Departments and Local Administration.
- Locust is an omnivorous and migratory pest and has the ability to fly hundreds of kilometers collectively.
- It is a trans-border pest and attacks the crop in large swarm. Found in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, they inhabit some 60 countries and can cover one-fifth of Earth's land surface.
- Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world's human population.
- Swarms of locusts in the desert come to India from Africa/ Gulf/ South West Asia during the summer monsoon season and go back towards Iran, Gulf & African countries for spring breeding.
- Usually, the locust swarms enter the Scheduled Desert Area of India through Pakistan for summer breeding in the month of June/July with the advent of monsoon.
- This year, however the incursions of locust hoppers and pink swarms have been reported much earlier because of presence of residual population of Locusts in Pakistan which they couldn’t control last season.
- Since 11th April 2020, locust hoppers and from 30th April, 2020, the incursion of pink immature adults has been reported in bordering districts of Rajasthan and Punjab, which are being controlled.
- Pink immature adults fly high and cover long distances during day hours from one place to another along with the westerly winds coming from the Pakistan side. Most of these pink immature adults settle on the trees during night and mostly fly during day.