Locusts still active in various Rajasthan, UP districts

New Delhi: Swarms of immature pink locusts and adult yellow locusts are still active in Rajasthan’s Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Pali and Sikar districts and Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur and Bahraich districts, an official statement said on Wednesday.

However, locust control operations are regularly being carried out in the affected areas, according to the Union Agriculture Ministry statement, adding that operations were carried out at 27 places in Rajasthan’s Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Sikar, one place in UP’s Bahraich, and two places in Gujarat’s Kutch district on Tuesday night.

Besides this, the respective state Agriculture Departments also carried out control operations at two places each in UP’s Balrampur and Bahraich and one place in Rajasthan’s Pali against small groups and scattered population of locusts the same night.

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Presently, 79 control teams with spray equipment-mounted vehicles and over 200 Central government personnel, 50 technical officers and 22 drivers on contractual basis, are engaged in locust control operations while 15 new Ulvamast sprayers have also reached India from the UK, the ministry said.

As per the statement, starting from April 11 till July 14, control operations have been done in 1,68,315 hectares across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by Locust Circle Offices.

At the same time, control operations were carried out in nearly 1,47,321 hectares in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Bihar by the respective state governments.

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in its latest update of July 13, said that early breeding has already occurred along the India-Pakistan border where substantial hatching and band formation will take place in July and cause the first-generation summer swarms to form in mid-August.

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