Agri Business

Maharashtra mounts vigil on locust attacks

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on May 15, 2020

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Alarmed by the renewed attacks of locusts in Rajasthan fields, the Maharashtra government has again enhanced the surveillance for locust attacks, especially in the districts bordering Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Senior officials said that the State government does not want the farmers to face the double whammy of Covid and locust attack, and therefore the vigil is mounted. Although Rajasthan does not share any border with Maharashtra, the pests can travel huge distance in swarms in a single day. Gujarat has also suffered from repeated attacks in the recent past.

Although the rabi harvest is over in Maharashtra, sugarcane and jowar are still standing on the fields. Sugarcane, being a 12-month crop, will go for harvesting in October. The green healthy leaves of this cash crop will attract the locusts and therefore farmers have been advised to monitor the fields, the officials said.

On Thursday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had sought the Centre’s help to deal with the locusts menace. In a series of tweets, he said that farmers in Rajasthan are facing the locusts raids in many districts. He had asked the Prime Minister to take this problem seriously and immediately give order to Central Government officials to help the State Government.

In another tweet, he said that last year about 6.70 lakh hectares in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Jalore, Bikaner, Nagaur, Churu, Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar, Sirohi, Pali and Udaipur were hit due to locusts and there was a loss of about ₹1,000 crore.

The Centre is also taking a note of the locust attacks and on May 13, the PIB in a press statement, had said that Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had interacted with pesticide industry representatives on the control of the locust and new machines have been ordered from the UK to tackle the menace.

Published on May 15, 2020

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