Jaipur: With estimations saying crops were affected in more than 3.5 lakh hectares in various districts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, the damage caused by locust attacks in 2019-20 is believed to be one of the worst in India.
Crops of mustard, cumin and wheat have been devastated in the two states, affecting lakhs of farmers. In Rajasthan, the worst-hit districts are Jaislamer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Jalore, Hanumangarh, Ganganagar, Bikaner and Sirohi.
Locusts, which are part of the grasshopper family, are highly mobile insects that can migrate across different countries and cause extreme damage to crops.
“A swarm of locusts, which contains about 40 million insects, can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people, 20 camels or six elephants,” states Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations is the international agency that monitors and manages locust invasions.
The Government of India deploys teams to control locust swarms, which spray a chemical called organophosphate in small, concentrated doses
Farmers have been advised to use pesticides like malathion, fenvalerate and quinalphos, to save their crops from locust attack.They have also been asked to use chlorpyrifos, deltamethrin, diflubenzuron, fipronil and lambda-cyhalothrin pesticides for protecting their crops and trees Agriculture authorities and farmers in the states Rajnandgaon district, which shares borders with Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, have been asked to be extra cautious as huge swarms of locusts may reach there by Thursday.