Punjab warned of locust attack; Ferozepur on high alert, Jalandhar among five districts on threat list
Food and Agriculture Organisation says locust groups in neighbouring Pakistan and Rajasthan likely to fly towards the state owing to the wind direction
Jalandhar: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that locust groups in Pakistan and Rajasthan will move to areas alongside Punjab in the coming three days due winds flowing in the state’s direction.
Ferozepur district has been put on the danger list, while Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Mansa, Moga and Tarn Taran districts are on the threat list of a locust attack that may harm vegetable crops and pulses, the FAO said.
The district administrations of Amritsar, Fazilka, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Faridkot, Muktsar, Bathinda and Barnala have been advised to stay alert.
The state agriculture department has asked district officials to alert farmers and prepare for a possible locust attack in the coming days.
In its circular to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the FAO warned the state of an attack between August 1 and 6.
Jalandhar district agriculture officer Surinder Singh said, “We have formed WhatsApp a group of farmers and the deputy commissioner has set up committees at the sub-divisional level to take swift action. We will act in a specific area after the locust attack.”
Punjab was put on the threat list after the Regional Remote Sensing Centre (West) issued a warning in its weekly locust surveillance using geospatial technology, which monitors the weather and ecology to provide an early warning based on the survey and control results from the Locust Warning Organisation (LWO).
The survey states that summer breeding is underway along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border. In India, numerous adult groups and swarms are laying eggs over a wide area of Rajasthan between Jodhpur and Churu, while hatching and band formation from earlier laying has occurred further south from Phalodi to Gujarat. In Pakistan, hopper groups and bands are present in the Nagarparkar area in Tharparkar of southeast Sindh.