Swarms of locusts, on Monday, entered the forest area of Chhattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh. As per reports, locusts have entered Koriya district of the state. However, no reports of crop-damage have emerged until now.
Chattisgarh agriculture department's additional director M S Kerketta said that there was a small group of locusts that entered only around 300 metres inside the jurisdiction of the state.
Chhattisgarh authorities have intensified efforts to tackle the menace. The state authorities have already killed some of these short-horned grasshoppers by spraying pesticides. Departments that were already monitoring the movement of pests immediately swung into action and sprayed chemicals through fire brigade vehicles following which most of the insects died or flew away, the official said.
Besides, Chhattisgarh's officials are monitoring all the districts which share borders with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to prevent locusts attack in the state.
Farmers have been advised to take steps to protect their crops and trees. Tractor-mounted sprayers have been arranged in all bordering districts. Also, the villagers have been asked to make noise by beating 'thalis' (steel plates), tin boxes and loud sound-producing instruments to drive away locusts.
It is for the first time locusts have invaded in the state in the last 58 years. In 1962, locusts entered the Surguja area (in erstwhile Madhya Pardesh).
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has also alerted its farmers about a possible locust invasion in the state and advised them to take precautions. The migratory pests might enter west Odisha districts such as Sundergarh, Bargarh, Kalahandi and Bolangir and cause damage to vegetable plantations and trees, the state government said on Sunday.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 65th edition of Mann Ki Baat also spoke about locusts attack. PM Modi stated, "Be it Centre, state governments, agriculture departments or local administration, everybody is using modern resources to help farmers. I am confident we will be able to deal with the crisis in the agriculture sector".
Over the last few days, swarms of locusts have been sighted in Madhya Pradesh, Vidharbha region of Maharashtra and urban areas of Rajasthan.
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