LCOs conduct operations to control locusts in 10 districts of Rajasthan, Gujarat

The government on Monday said operations to control locusts were carried out in 10 districts of Rajasthan and Gujarat during the intervening night of July 26-27.
"Locust control operations were carried out at 36 places in 9 districts viz. Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur, Jhunjhunu, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar of Rajasthan and one place in Kutch district of Gujarat against swarms and hoppers by locust circle offices (LCOs) in the intervening night of 26th-27th July," an official statement said.

Swarms of immature pink locusts, adult yellow locusts and/or hoppers were active in these 10 districts on Monday.

Starting from April 11 till July 26, control operations have been done in 2,14,642 hectares area in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by LCOs.

Till Sunday, control operations have been done in 2,14,130 hectares area in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar by state governments.

"No significant crop losses have been reported in the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan," the statement said.

Currently, 104 central control teams with spray vehicles are deployed in Rajasthan and Gujarat, and more than 200 central government personnel are engaged in locust control operations.

Moreover, five companies with 15 drones are deployed at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Phalodi in Rajasthan for effective control of locusts on tall trees and in inaccessible areas through spraying of pesticides.

A bell helicopter has been deployed in Rajasthan for use in scheduled desert area as per the need. The Indian Air Force is also conducting trials in anti-locust operation by using Mi-17 helicopter.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's Locust Status Update of July 21 indicates that the risk of swarm migration from Horn of Africa prevails in the coming weeks.

"In Somalia, the swarms are moving eastwards across the north and a limited number of swarms could migrate across the Indian Ocean to the Indo-Pakistan border area; during the remainder of this month," it said.
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