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Marauding locust swarms killed in Dausa with insecticide spray

A locust swarm killed in Dausa district’s Kota Patti village on Tuesday.

A locust swarm killed in Dausa district’s Kota Patti village on Tuesday.  

Operation launched in Kota Patti village at midnight when insects arrived from Jaipur

The huge locust swarms, which appeared in the skies of Jaipur on Monday, were killed in Rajasthan’s Dausa district on Tuesday with the spray of high-intensity insecticide by the Agriculture Department officials.

The swarms came from Didwana in Nagaur district and entered Jaipur through Kishangarh Renwal and Jobner. They moved towards Dausa without settling at any green patch, though a few groups landed on the roofs of some high-rise buildings.

State Agriculture Commissioner Om Prakash said since there was a lack of vegetation in the agricultural fields after the harvesting of rabi crops, the tropical grasshoppers were short of food and were moving fast towards other areas.

People in Jaipur clanged utensils and burst firecrackers to drive away the locusts. The Agriculture Department has been trying hard to kill the insects by spraying pesticides on trees where they settle during night, but the height of the trees and their location have posed a difficulty. Mr. Prakash said the locusts perched on high trees move towards other areas during the day.

Agriculture Minister Lal Chand Kataria said his department had controlled locusts in an area measuring 61,725 acres across the State in coordination with Jodhpur-based Locust Warning Organisation of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. “Wherever we get the information about the arrival of locust swarms, we take up survey and launch action for control,” said Mr. Kataria.

The operation to kill locusts in Dausa district’s Kota Patti village, around 53 km from Jaipur, was started after midnight when the swarms arrived from the State capital. Mr. Kataria said the spray of high-intensity malathion insecticide helped in killing almost the entire swarm of insects at the pasture land.

The locust invasion, which started from the India-Pakistan border on April 11, has affected about 20 of 33 districts in Rajasthan, after the insects crossed the Thar desert and travelled far in search of food, taking advantage of favourable wind conditions with the onset of summer.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had sought Central assistance to deal with the locust attack earlier this month and drawn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention to the requirement of compensating farmers for their losses.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation had recently warned that locusts were breeding in large numbers in Sudan and Eritrea on Africa’s Red Sea Coast as well as in Iran. They have been travelling through Pakistan to enter the Indian side of Thar desert.

Locusts can fly up to 150 km in a day, and a 1 sq. km. swarm can eat as much food as 35,000 people, in terms of weight, in a single day.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 8:30:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/marauding-locust-swarms-killed-in-dausa-with-insecticide-spray/article31682188.ece

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