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Locusts back in north Guj, officials say no need to panic


Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Small swarms of locusts have

descended in some isolated parts of Banaskantha and Patan districts of north Gujarat since last few days, but there is no need for farmers to panic, officials said on Thursday.

The number of insects this time is much less as compared to the huge swarms that invaded parts of north Gujarat in December last year and affected standing crops in 25,000 hectares of area, they said.

After a gap of five months, smaller swarms of about 200 to 300 locusts have entered Banaskantha and adjoining Patan, Banaskantha district agriculture officer P K Patel said.

"Though we are not supposed to control such a small number of locusts as per international guidelines, we are spraying pesticides wherever we find the locusts. We sprayed chemical on a small swarm at a village near Deesa today. There is no need to panic," Patel said.

He said these smaller swarms of locusts might have separated from the large swarms that have descended in the desert of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, where an operation against the insects is underway.

"Such smaller swarms are not a threat. They are naturally controlled by peacocks, crows and other birds. We have also deployed hand-held pumps to spray pesticides so that farmers do not panic," Patel said.

In December last year, locusts from desert areas of Pakistan descended in Gujarat districts like Banaskantha, Mehsana, Kutch, Patan and Sabarkantha and attacked several crops like mustard, castor, cotton, fennel, jatropha and cumin.

The Gujarat government had then announced a compensation for farmers whose crops were damaged.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 16:22 IST