Vegetables, fodder crops hit by locust swarms

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS): Locust swarms are mainly attacking summer vegetables, fodder crops and trees as kharif sowing is awaiting onset of monsoon, according to an agriculture scientist, here on Sunday.

In parts of UP and MP, vegetables, like cabbage, aubergine, okra, chilli, sponge gourd, bitter gourd, cucumber, water melons and black-eyed peas that were cultivated in the river basins had been affected by locusts, said Dr Vijay Kumar Yadav, acting director of the ICAR-Indian Grassland & Fodder Research Institute in Jhansi.

Summer fodder crops, like sorghum, millet and its hybrid, had been affected by locusts, he added.

Spring-bred immature adult locust swarms that reached Rajasthan from the West and moved toward northwest and central India have affected several districts of Rajasthan, MP and some other states.

In the Bundelkhand region, spread across UP and MP, summer moong crop has also been hit. Among trees moringa, acacia, mango and guava were attacked by locust, said Yadav.

In many places, vegetables and moong crops had been affected 50-60 per cent, fodder crops 30-40 per cent and moringa trees 50 per cent, he said and added, it had also affected local supply of green vegetables to many cities.

Several state governments, including Delhi, have issued advisory to farmers and taken steps to control damages. As on May 28, 377 spots, spread over 53,997 hectares, had been covered since the locust control operations started on April 11, the Union Agriculture Ministry claimed on Friday.

However, Pawan Kumar, a plant protection officer in Rajasthan, told IANS over phone no new locust swarms were arriving and big swarms were also getting dispersed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mentioned the locust attack in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' on Sunday.


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Comment on this article

  • SJM, Mangalore

    Sun, May 31 2020

    Pls come out with Ganta, deep etc........... and sing go locust go.....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • smr, Karkala

    Sun, May 31 2020

    Climate change has played a role in the locust plague. It started after exceptional cyclonic rainfall moistened the “Empty Quarter” deserts of Saudi Arabia in 2019. Biblical quantities of locusts hatched and have been breeding ever since. The swarms were swept Eastwards through Iran to Pakistan by seasonal winds. After breeding in Pakistan’s eastern deserts, the locusts took to the air again in late winter. Now, another generation has hatched and crossed into India.

    With the locust problem escalating, an innovative pilot project in Pakistan’s Okara district offers a sustainable solution in which farmers earn money by trapping locusts that are turned into high-protein chicken feed by animal feed mills.

    Using the slogan, “Catch locusts. Earn money. Save crops”, the project offered to pay farmers PKR 20 per kg of locusts. Locusts only fly in daylight. At night, they cluster on trees and open ground without dense vegetation and remain almost motionless till sunrise the next day. Locusts are easy to catch at night.

    The pesticides used by the government are carcinogenic to humans and poisonous to wildlife.
    Why don't adopt the Pakistan’s solution to the locust invasion by turning the pests into chicken feed?

    Jai Hind

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

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