Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha will soon issue an advisory in the form of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to deal with possible invasion of locust swarms.

As per the latest information and warning issued by the Centre and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), swarms of locusts are likely to reach Odisha in June and may affect crops in several districts particularly in the western belt of the State.

The migratory pests are likely to cause extensive damage to trees and other vegetable plantations in the districts of Bargarh, Nabarangpur, Sambalpur and Sundergarh, informed Lalit Mohan Gadnayak, Dean of Directorate of Extension Education under Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT).

According to Gadnayak, the locust swarms are expected to return only after July 15 and soon special teams will be formed to tackle with the situation.

“Adequate steps will be taken to create awareness among farmers and soon SOP will be issued. The movement of locust will be monitored at district and block levels,” said Gadnayak.

It may be noted that a swarm of locusts entered India via Pakistan last month before venturing out to several states giving sleepless nights to farmers.

Ahead of the arrival of monsoon, several States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh have been hard hit by locust infestation.

The government of India has already issued alert to several States to remain extra cautious in view of the possible attack by locust swarms. The Centre has issued advisory for Locust Control and Standard Operating Procedures in this regard.

  1. Awareness to farmers: Due to the prevailing Covid19 situation, the government has assured to issue latest information on the Locust Control through mass media and social media.
  2. Daily Surveillance: Assistant Agriculture Officer/Horticulture Officer have been asked to conduct daily survey of their respective areas and prepare report for submission of the same to the higher authorities.
  3. The government has asked the government to form district-level monitoring teams which will report to the Control Room (0674-2394907) regularly.
  4. Availability of Spray Pumps: Chief Engineer (Agriculture) has been asked to prepare the availability of custom hiring centres, ULV spray pumps with farmers.
  5. Control Action: Department of Agriculture will be in charge of surveying movement and settling down of the locusts. Block district agriculture officers as per the directives of the district agriculture authorities shall mobilise his team in the respective areas to control the menace

Here's a list of various pesticides as prescribed by the Union Government for the control of desert locusts.

Also Read: Locust Warning Sounded In Odisha

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)