The measures to control the spread of crop threatening migratory pest desert locusts have so far been undertaken in more than 5.22 lakh hectares area in 10 states since April, the Union Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.
The control operations are being done by both Locust Circle Offices (LCOs) and state governments, it said in a statement.
On Sunday, some scattered locust adults were active in Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Nagaur, Churu, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts of Rajasthan and in Kutch district of Gujarat, it added.
According to the ministry, "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."
Since April 11, LCOs have done locust control operations in 2,58,406 hectares in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Whereas the state governments have undertaken control operations in 2,64,491 hectares area in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
On August 9 night, the control operations were carried out during day and night time at 46 places in seven districts -- Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Nagaur, Churu, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar -- of Rajasthan and one place in Kutch district of Gujarat against hoppers and some scattered adults by LCOs.
Presently, 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, 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.
Drones are used in hopper control also. A Bell helicopter has been deployed in Rajasthan for use in the Scheduled Desert Area as per the need. The Indian Air Force is also conducting trials in anti-locust operation by using a Mi-17 helicopter.
As per the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) August 7 update, locust swarms continue to persist in several countries in Horn of Africa and Yemen and summer breeding is in progress on both sides of the Indo-Pak border, the ministry added.
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