The Locust outbreak in India has damaged crops in five states until now. These five states are MP, UP, Rajashthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Apart from these states under attack, the centre has issued a warning for 12 states. The country was already undergoing the coronavirus crisis when locusts appeared.
Down in the south, farmers are keeping a vigil in Bidar, Karnataka, as the desert locusts are expected to arrive through western Maharashtra. Moreover, the locust menace also hit Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. In Tamil Nadu too, swarms of a locust species attacked banana, rubber and other crops in some districts.
In Rajasthan, these locusts arrived around the first fortnight of April. So far, the locusts have attacked predominately at Dausa in Rajasthan, Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh and Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
The United Nations’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) desert locust information centre has said several successive waves of invasions could be expected until July in Rajasthan, with eastward surges across northern India as far as Bihar and Orissa followed by westward movements and a return to Rajasthan on the changing winds associated with the monsoon.
In UP, besides Jhansi, Pryagraj is under a possible locust attack. In the past week, Jhansi district has been attacked thrice by locusts.
Maharashtra Farmers Asked To Stay Active At Nights For A Possible Locust Attack
While in Maharashtra farmers asked to stay active at nights for a possible locust attack. Desert locusts, which feed on vegetation, recently invaded Chikhaldara, Morshi, Warud, Katol, and Ramtek areas in the Vidarbha region.
As per the latest update, locusts can now enter the areas adjacent to the Gujarat border, like Palghar, from the neighbouring state.
In Jaipur as well a huge swarm of locust flying was seen in the sky.
Swarms of a locust species attacked banana, rubber and other crops in parts of plantation-dominated districts such as Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu, causing concern among farmers.
However, the state government on Saturday said these were native grasshoppers and not the desert locusts. It advised the farmers to use bio insecticide like neem seed oil to protect agriculture and horticulture crops.
The locust crisis hit Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, with swarms destroying planted crops in Dasappa Road, Rayadurga in Anantapuram district.