No sure-fire treatment

Sushil Manav

Bhagwana Ram, a farmer from Karamsana village of Sirsa, retains enquiring concerning the location of locusts in close by Rajasthan ever since 1,000 to 2,000 bugs that strayed away from a swarm lively in Hanumangarh district entered his village within the final week of May.

Many like him having their fields in villages alongside Haryana’s border with Rajasthan reside in panic ever since desert locust swarms coming into the nation from Pakistan wreaked havoc in Rajasthan and likewise brought on injury to vegetation in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and different states.

Seven districts of Haryana — Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh and Rewari — are on excessive alert ever since locust swarms began coming into Rajasthan in February this yr.

Sources say swarms unfold over not less than 1 sq km are lively in elements of Rajasthan near Haryana’s border.

Gurjeet Singh Mann, a progressive farmer from Kirpal Patti village of Sirsa, says that although rabi crops have already been harvested and kharif crops like paddy and maize are but to be sown, the districts involved comprise a part of the cotton belt of the state and the crop is already greater than 45 days previous.

“Cotton is grown on nearly 6 lakh hectares in Haryana, of which one-third is in Sirsa district. The crop is also grown in Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri and other districts along the Rajasthan border. Besides, there are kinnow and guava orchards in Dabwali (Sirsa). If a locust swarm enters the area, it will cause huge losses to the farmers,” Mann provides.

Om Jhorar, a farmer of Karamsana village, says that moreover cotton, gwar crop is being grown and they’d be hit arduous if the swarms enter their fields.

Experts say there isn’t any foolproof measure to manage locusts or shoo them away as neighborhood participation isn’t as excessive because it was three-four a long time in the past.

“All that farmers can usually resort to is to make loud noise by banging utensils or empty canisters. Chemical control cannot be applied quickly in a very large area,” say consultants.

Sanjeev Kaushal, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department, Haryana, says the state authorities has put in place a plan for monitoring and controlling the locust assault by involving DCs and division officers of seven districts thought-about weak.

“Ever since locust attacks were witnessed in Rajasthan and parts of Punjab earlier this year, the department has held training and awareness camps in the seven districts close to Rajasthan. The situation is being monitored in coordination with the Central government and agriculture officers from Rajasthan and Punjab,” Kaushal provides.

The division has additionally sought the help of scientists of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar. It has roped in semi-government companies like HAFED, Haryana Seed Development Corporation, Haryana Agro Industries Corporation and Haryana Land Reclaim and Development Corporation to rearrange shares of pesticide chloropyriphose for the management of locust on a consignment foundation in order that it could possibly be supplied to farmers on 50 per cent subsidy. The division has constituted a response workforce on the headquarters, led by the Director General. Surinder Dahiya, an extra director of the division, is the coordinator of the workforce.

Voracious urge for food

  • Locusts are short-horned grasshoppers, identified for his or her migratory behaviour and a voracious urge for food.
  • India has not witnessed any full-blown locust cycle after 1962.
  • However, throughout 1978 and 1993, large-scale upsurges have been noticed.
  • Localised locust breeding was reported and managed throughout 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2010.

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