New dense locust swarm from Pakistan enters Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district
Locust outbreak was reported in Rajasthan in May 2019 after a gap of 26 years. The attack continued until February this year and the pests devoured crops on at least 670,000 hectares across 12 districts, causing a loss of around Rs 1,000 crore, according to the state agriculture department.Updated: Jun 21, 2020 22:01 IST
A new five square kilometer dense swarm of desert locust entered Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan on Sunday and breeding of locusts has been reported in Bikaner district amid even as the Rajasthan government augmented the means to control the invasion.
These included 411 tractor-mounted power sprayers and 53,000 litres of plant protection chemical, procured under a World Bank-funded project for locust control activities, multiple officials said.
Officials of Locust Warning Office, an Agriculture ministry wing, said a new swarm from Pakistan entered Rajasthan’s Anupgarh town in Sriganganagar district on Sunday. It was 5km-by-5km and very dense. Earlier, on Saturday, four swarms entered Jaipur from Nagaur and after control operation in the evening, were reported to have moved towards Tonk on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Agricultural Competitiveness Project (RACP), a World Bank-funded project, has issued work order for 211 tractor-mounted power sprayer for locust management in Bikaner and Jalore districts, and 200 for Barmer and Jaisalmer. The budget for these sprayers is Rs 1.56 crore.
Work orders were also issued for supply of two pesticides – Lambda Cyhalothrin 5% EC and Deltamethrin 2.8% EC – in 13 districts.
The state government had earlier sanctioned Rs 1.47 crore from the state disaster relief fund (SDRF) for hiring vehicles, tractor-mounted sprayers and pesticides.
RACP project director Alok Ranjan said pesticides worth Rs 1.39 crore have been ordered from a Jaipur supplier. “The two pesticides will be supplied in packing of one litre and will be sent directly to the deputy directors of the agriculture department in the respective districts before June 30,” he said.
The pesticides will be supplied to Barmer, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur, Jalore, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Pali, Churu, Ajmer, Jaipur and Sirohi. The biggest supply will be made to Barmer – 3,000 litres each of Lambda and Deltamethrin. Sirohi gets the smallest supply – 1,000 litres of Lambda and 500 litres of Deltamethrin.
Ranjan said under the integrated locust (pest) control plan of RACP, small and marginal farmers will also be provided the pesticides for use in a maximum area of two hectares. “They will be made aware about their safety and the precautions to take while using the pesticides,” he added.
Locust outbreak was reported in Rajasthan in May 2019 after a gap of 26 years. The attack continued until February this year and the pests devoured crops on at least 670,000 hectares across 12 districts, causing a loss of around Rs 1,000 crore, according to the state agriculture department.
The second wave of locust invasion began on April 11 this year when locust swarms entered Rajasthan from Hindumalkot in Sriganganagar and Babla in Jaisalmer.
Joint director of plant protection division in state agriculture department, Dr Suwa Lal Jat said until Sunday, more than 200,000 hectares in 29 districts had been affected by the crop-munching pests. Control operations have been done in around 180,000 hectares.
Meanwhile, according to a bulletin by the locust warning organization (LWO), breeding of locusts has been reported in Bikaner district amid frequent outbreaks in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. In the areas of Bikaner where breeding was reported, this week (the third week of June), hopper emergence may be reported.
According to bulletin, immature, maturing and mature adult groups/swarms were observed at various districts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.