India to buy sprayers from UK, use helicopters, drones to fight locust attack
In order to control the spread of crop-damaging locust swarms, the Indian Agriculture Ministry said that 15 sprayers will be procured from the United Kingdom in the next 15 days.
“Forty-five more sprayers will be procured in a month or one-and-a-half months. Drones will be used to spray pesticides on tall trees and inaccessible places for effective control of locusts, while plans are afoot to deploy helicopters for aerial spray,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.
Indian Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also reviewed the locust control operations in a high-level meeting.
“There was no information of entry of any new locust swarm on Thursday from Indo-Pak border areas,” the minister said, adding that control measures are in full swing in close coordination with state agriculture departments, local administration and Border Security Force.
As on date, there are some active swarms of immature locusts in the following states, according to the Agriculture Ministry:
• Rajasthan: Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Suratgarh, Dausa districts
• Uttar Pradesh: Jhansi District
• Madhya Pradesh: Rewa, Morena, Betul, Khandwa districts
• Maharashtra: Nagpur and Amravati districts
In the above-mentioned districts, the control operations are underway.
The central government is also in close touch with the affected states and an advisory has been issued as well.
It is to be noted here that several Indian states, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are currently facing one of the worst locust attacks.