Locust control operations were carried out at 34 places in 09 districts viz. Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur, Hanumangarh, Jalore and Sirohi of Rajasthan and 02 places in Kutch district of Gujarat against swarms and hoppers by LCOs in the intervening night of 30th-31st July, 2020. Besides this, Haryana State Agriculture Department also carried out control operation at 1 place in Bhiwani district in the intervening night of 30th-31st July, 2020 against small groups and scattered population of locusts.
Starting from 11th April 2020 till 30th July 2020, control operations have been done in 2,26,979 hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs). Till 30th July 2020, control operations have been done in 2,29,582 hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar by State Governments.
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, 5 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 Scheduled Desert Area as per the need. Indian Air Force is also assisting in anti-locust operation by using Mi-17 helicopter.
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.
Today (31.07.2020), swarms of immature pink locusts, adult yellow locusts and / or hoppers are active in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur, Hanumangarh, Jalore and Sirohi districts of Rajasthan, Bhiwani district of Haryana and Kutch district of Gujarat.
Food and Agriculture Organization’s Locust Status Update of 21.07.2020 indicates that the risk of swarm migration from Horn of Africa prevails in coming weeks. In Somalia, the swarms are moving eastwards across the north and a limited number of swarms could migrate across the Indian Ocean to the Indo-Pakistan border area; during the remainder of this month.
Weekly virtual meeting on Desert Locust of South-West Asian countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan) is being organized by FAO. 16 virtual meetings of the technical officers of South West Asian countries have taken place so far