Rabi crop in 5,000 hectare area affected by Locust attack, 45 teams of Centre and Gujarat active : Gujarat govt.

Gandhinagar: The Government of Gujarat today said total 5,000 hectare Rabi crop area is impacted by Locust attack.

Punamchandra Parmar, Additional Chief Secretary in Agriculture department of Gujarat government said, ‘5,000 hectare Rabi crop area is impacted by Locusts that arrived from Tharparkar (Pakistan) and Zalor (Rajasthan) side. Their original flight path was towards Pakistan but due to suitable wind direction, moisture and change in crop pattern they arrived in Gujarat.’

ACS Parmar further said, ‘Locusts can be destroyed effectively during 7 to 11 am. 20-25% are destroyed already. Full control will take around 4 more days. In Tharad taluka, locusts cover 30-35 sq km area. The Centre has sent an expert official and teams.’

Parmar said, drone was used for trial in one taluka but a report on its effectiveness is awaited. If it is found effective, its use will be continued.

He said, relief to Locust affected farmers will be given from SDRF after survey. These are young locusts in 20-30 days age group and therefore there’s no reason to worry about their breeding which start in 70-80 days age span.

45 teams of Centre and Gujarat sprayed Malathion in locust-affected fieldsin Banaskantha district

Gandhinagar(press release):In all, 45 teams controlled 1,815 hectares (ha) of locust-affected fields in Banaskantha district by spraying Malathion (96%) pesticide with the help of 25 tractor-mounted sprayers till Thursday. These include 19 teams of the Central Government’s Locust Control Office at Banaskantha and the remaining ones of the Gujarat Government and local people. This is about 25 per cent of the total 6,000 ha of area in Tharad-Vav-Radka areas estimated to have been affected.

The operation continued on Thursday has covered another 3,000 ha of the locust-affected fields in Radka-Ajawada-Naroli and nearby villages bordering Rajasthan.

According to Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture & Cooperation Poonamchand Parmar, the operation has to be carried out early morning within three hours or so because, it is difficult to cover swarm of locusts in the daytime when they fly high and also during night when theylay low holding back their breathing cells. Since the pesticide is very poisonous, the area has to be also cleared off human beings and animals.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has directed the agriculture department to survey the damage and extend assistance to the affected farmers as per the SRDF norms. He has also directed the district administration to send adequate staff and machinery to carry out the operation till completely controlled.