With the onset of the monsoon on 24-25 June in Rajasthan, which shares a border with Pakistan, authorities at the Jodhpur-based Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) are preparing to control the population of locusts in the desert areas between India and neighbouring Pakistan.
BR Kadwa, deputy director of Rajasthan's Agriculture Department, has said: “Operations are on to control them. Issue is, we had killed older swarms but new swarms are coming now. The government of India has said that a Navy helicopter will also be used to control it”.
He said the locust attack has been going on for more than a month. Rajasthan is one of the most affected states as some districts - Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, and Ganganagar, share a border with Pakistan from where the locusts are entering other districts.
The Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said on Tuesday that they are using drones for aerial spraying of insecticides in the Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagore, and Jodhpur districts.
The ministry also said that under the Make in India initiative, trials of a vehicle-mounted ULV sprayer has been successfully conducted in Ajmer and Bikaner and that approvals required for commercial launches are underway.
Earlier a swarm of locusts reached as far as northern India, affecting crops in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.