Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj is getting ready against a possible attack by a swarm of locusts, which has reached the state from Rajasthan. "The swarm of locusts flying from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, has reached Uttar Pradesh. District authority and state government are prepared to control the attack of locust and have warned people. We have also trained the farmers about how to save their crops," Dr Sunil Kumar Singh, district agriculture officer, Prayagraj, told news agency ANI.
Dausa in Rajasthan, Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh are the three major regions where the locusts have predominantly attacked. "The swarm of the locust is expected to spoil the crops and trees of the region to a great extent. In the wake of possible locust attack in the city, we have tested the machines and now we are prepared to deal with it," Ajay Kumar Sharma, member of the team preparing to fight the locust attack in Prayagraj, told the news agency.
Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have already seen damage to standing cotton crops and vegetables due to these migratory pests. Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government is extending all help to the farmers to handle the agriculture crisis - locust infestation - in the country. "The administration is using modern technology to help the farmers against locust attack," Modi said during his radio programme Mann Ki Baat.
What has triggered the locust movement is the large scale breeding of locusts that happened in areas like Iran, Baluchistan and Pakistan. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations had warned, much in advance, about the spring breeding of desert locusts that continue in southern Iran and southwest Pakistan despite ongoing control operations in those countries.
"As vegetation dries out, more groups and swarms will form and move from these areas to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border as several waves from now until at least early July. Good rains are predicted during the first half of June along the Indo-Pakistan border that would allow egg-laying to occur. This should reduce the further eastward movement of swarms that have already arrived in Rajasthan, India," the FAO said.