Swarms of locusts have attacked fields in Ajmer district in Rajasthan, causing 3 to 5 per cent damage to the crops. The locusts entered the district from Nagaur and the situation was brought under control with the help of the Fire department by spraying pesticides in the area, informed the Deputy Director of the Agriculture department VK Sharma.
Rajasthan: Swarms of locusts hit Ajmer district."Locusts entered the district from Nagaur. We undertook help of the fire department to spray pesticides & were able to control it effectively. There are reports of 3-5% damage to crops",VK Sharma, Dy Director, Agriculture dept said. pic.twitter.com/oxy5TbWFrX— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2020
Earlier Locusts had hit Rajasthan in February this year. Later, the authorities in the State undertook a massive exercise to contain the outbreak. Local media reported that the government was preparing for a “two-front war”— one, which was ongoing against the COVID-19 infections and another to ensure food security — in anticipation of the locust attack on farms. A few locust swarms were also reported in Anoopgarh and Sri Ganganagar districts of Rajasthan after their attack emanated from the desert area of Pakistan.
According to global reports, locust swarms is expected to arrive all the way from East Africa and attack farmlands in South Asia in the coming months. Earlier, in February this year, Punjab and Haryana had reported locust infestation in its farms, following which the states were put on high alerts. The government deployed special teams to tackle the situation and to spread awareness about locust preventive measures among farmers.
Despite Coronavirus-related travel restrictions, international experts are in place to support efforts to eradicate the pests with measures including ground and aerial spraying of pesticides. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has managed to raise nearly $120m to tackle the problem, which will augment the efforts of governments in affected countries.
(With agency inputs)