No evidence of crop damage by desert locust till date: Agriculture Minister

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New Delhi, July 10, 2019 : There is an incursion of Desert locust (belongs to the category of grasshoppers) in low to medium density since 21st May 2019 onwards, from the border areas of Pakistan mainly in the Jaisalmer district of the Rajasthan State. Its presence has also been noticed in the Barmer and Jalore districts of Rajasthan and Banaskantha district of Gujarat.

Till date, there is no evidence of crop damages by desert locust. Neither the desert locust control teams nor any State agriculture functionaries have reported any damage to the crops.

The following steps have been taken to deal with the problem of Desert locust:

  1. Up to the 3rd July, 2019, a total of 8041 hectares have been treated against the said infestation by spraying insecticide (Jaisalmer – 7354 hectares, Barmer – 447 hectares, Jalore – 100 hectares and Banaskantha – 140 hectares).
  2. The staffs of locust warning organization / circle offices are undertaking regular surveys and control operations to check desert locust.
  3. An Additional 40 nos. of technical officers/officials of Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage have been deployed in the various circle office for assistance in control and survey works. In addition, senior officers of the Department are camping in the infested area and supervising control operations.
  1. Further, the State Agriculture Department of Rajasthan has posted their 77 nos. of staff including Agriculture Supervisor, Agriculture officers & Assistant Agriculture Officers to various offices in the Jaisalmer districts for assistance in locust control works.The State Government has constituted various teams comprising senior officers for regular assessment and monitoring of locust situation.
  2. Various awareness programs have been organized by the various circle offices for state agriculture officers and farmers.
  3. Regular Liaison is being maintained with the Forest Department, Border Security Force, State Agriculture Department, District administration and representatives of Gram Sabha/Panchayat.

Under the Locust Control & Research, the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Famers Welfare has established 10 Locust Circle Offices at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Suratgarh, Churu, Nagaur, Phalodi, Jalore in Rajasthan and Palanpur &Bhuj in Gujarat covering almost all the desert areas. In addition, Locust Warning Organization has been established at Jodhpur which acts as head quarter of the circle offices. Furthermore, a Field Station on Investigation in Locust has also been established at Bikaner.

This information was given by the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.