The continuing fight against desert locusts, the agriculture ministry on Friday said the control operations against the crop threatening migratory pest have so far been carried out in more than 456,000 hectares area of 10 states.
According to the ministry, the control operations are being carried out by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs) as well as state agriculture departments.
LCOs have carried out control operations in 226,000 hectares of area so far in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Whereas the state governments have carried out the control operation in 229,000 hectares in states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
"No significant crop losses have been reported in the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan," the ministry said.
On Friday, swarms of immature pink locusts, adult yellow locusts or hoppers were active in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur, Hanumangarh, Jalore and Sirohi districts of Rajasthan, Bhiwani district of Haryana and Kutch district of Gujarat.
Currently, 104 control teams with spray vehicles are deployed in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and more than 200 central government personnel are engaged in locust control operations.
Further, five companies with 15 drones are deployed at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Phalodi in Rajasthan for effective control of locusts on tall trees and in inaccessible areas through spraying of pesticides.
A Bell helicopter has been deployed in Rajasthan for use in the scheduled desert area as per the need. Indian Air Force is also assisting in anti-locust operation by using Mi-17 helicopter, the ministry added.