Farmers in several villages of Agra and Mathura districts have suffered huge losses because of attacks by locust swarms. They have caused as much as 90 per cent damage to their standing crop at several places.
A committee led by UP Agriculture Research Council Secretary and Additional Agriculture Director Vinay Prakas Shrivastav, on complaints from farmers, inspected dozens of villages in the two districts and said farmers who had lost more than half of their crop to the menace would be compensated by the government. He said the committee would soon approach the revenue department to make an assessment of the losses suffered by farmers.
The most affected areas are Achnera, Fatehpur Sikri, Kheragarh and Shamshabad where farmers have been advised to spray insecticides and light fires at night.
Agriculture official Yatendra Singh admitted that grasshoppers were causing a lot of problem in urban areas too.
Sources said during the last couple of days, grasshopper swarms forced shopkeepers in several areas in Agra and Mathura, especially those located along the highway, to down their shutters and power supply had to be stopped to control the menace. Farmers said if the government failed to control the situation and they were not compensated, they would resort to agitation.