Chief Minister Ashok Gehlo of the Indian state of Rajasthan has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s urgent help in tackling a veritable plague of locusts, which has left a lot of farmers helpless and despondent.
Rajasthan's chief minister, in a letter to Prime Minister Modi, has suggested that the central government should coordinate with Pakistan and other neighbouring countries to control the pests in their respective countries.
“It can be mitigated only if these countries too take serious steps,” Gehlot has stated.
In the letter, the chief minister has also sought to draw the prime minister’s attention to farmers’ losses due to the locust swarms and explains how badly their crops have been destroyed. He has also implored the central government to take decisive action.
In the last few weeks, the agriculture departments of two of the westernmost Indian states (Rajasthan and Gujarat), which share a border with Pakistan, have informed their respective state governments that crops spread over several thousand hectares have been affected due to the swarms of locusts. Mustard, castor, funnel and wheat crops are worst-affected.
The state governments have formed several teams of experts, who are directing farmers to use several measures to protect their crops while exploring the possibility of using drones to spray pesticides over the fields.