Locust outbreak in Rajasthan’s Barmer

Efforts on to control the menace

July 01, 2019 11:02 pm | Updated 11:02 pm IST - JAIPUR

Warning issued to keep an eye on incoming swarms.

Warning issued to keep an eye on incoming swarms.

An outbreak of desert locusts in the villages of Rajasthan's Barmer district, adjoining the India-Pakistan border, has posed a threat to the crops. Swarms of locusts were detected in the villages of Tamlor, Gadra Road, Gudamalani and Sheo regions of the district over the weekend.

The Union Agriculture Ministry’s Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), headquartered in Jodhpur, has launched efforts on a war footing to control locusts. Teams carrying equipment have been rushed to the villages to spray high-intensity malathion insecticide to prevent the spread of locusts to other areas.

The LWO has set up a helpline for farmers in the State. An attack of locusts, flying in from Pakistan's Sindh province, was reported in Ramdeora-Pokhran region of Jaisalmer district during May this year. The last major outbreak of locusts took place in Rajasthan in 1993, according to the LWO.

LWO Plant Protection Officer in Barmer, Mahesh Chandra, told The Hindu on Monday that a warning had been issued to all areas along the international border to keep an eye on the incoming swarms. “The spray of insecticide will prevent breeding of locusts, which is often witnessed in vegetation during rains after the drought spell,” Mr. Chandra said.

Invading through Thar

The tropical grasshoppers emerged in January this year from Sudan and Eritrea on Africa's Red Sea Coast and travelled through Saudi Arabia and Iran to enter Pakistan, where they invaded the cotton-producing belt of Sindh. The swarms of locusts are now entering the Thar desert, threatening the crops in western Rajasthan.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation has warned that more hatching and formation of hopper groups were expected in the coming weeks in Rajasthan, while the swarms of adult locusts would arrive from the “spring breeding areas”.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.