Locust control operations have been done in 1,32,777 hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs) starting from 11th April, 2020 till 2nd July, 2020. In the intervening night of 2nd – 3rd July, 2020, control operations were carried out at 19 places in 7 districts viz. Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Sikar, Jaipur, and Alwar of Rajasthan State and 2 places in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh by LCOs.
State Governments have also been simultaneously carrying out locust control operations. Till 2nd July, 2020, control operations have been done in 1,13,003 hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Bihar by State Governments. State Agriculture Department of Rajasthan carried out control operations at 4 places in Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Pali, and Dholpur districts in the intervening night of 2nd – 3rd July, 2020 against small groups and scattered population of locusts.
Presently 60 control teams with spray vehicles are deputed /deployed in State of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh; more than 200 Central Government personnel are engaged in locust control operations. Further, 5 companies with 12 drones are deployed at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Phalodi in Rajasthan for effective control of locusts on tall trees and in inaccessible areas through spraying of pesticides.
No significant crop losses have been reported in the States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan.
Today (03.07.2020), swarms of immature pink locusts and adult yellow locusts are active in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Sikar, Jaipur, and Alwar of Rajasthan State and Tikamgarh area of Madhya Pradesh.
As per the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Locust Status Update of 27.06.2020, swarms from Somalia are likely to migrate to the summer breeding areas along the Indo-Pakistan border. In Pakistan, some swarms have started laying eggs in southeast Sindh near the Indian border while swarms hopper bands are forming in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In India, some small groups of immature adults which are moved in eastern parts of Utter Pradesh are likely to disperse without causing much harm.
Weekly virtual meeting on Desert Locust of South-West Asian countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan) is being organised by FAO. 15 virtual meetings of the technical officers of South West Asian countries have taken place so far.