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  • 04 February, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

Locust attack in Punjab

Syllabus subtopic: Major Crops - Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country

Prelims and Mains focus: about the locust attack; threat and action taken to contain it

News: Swarms of locusts were spotted in two border villages of Punjab’s Fazilka district, prompting the state Agriculture Department to sound a high alert.

Where did the attack originate from?

Emanating from Pakistan, the swarms of peststhree to four-km-long and one-km-wide — settled at the trees in these border villages.

What is the threat?

Any failure to control the pests could lead to serious implications for agriculture production in India, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat, which will ultimately hit commodity prices and food security.

Prompt action taken

  • As soon as swarms of locusts were spotted near the villages, a team including members from the Agriculture Department and fire brigade was pressed into service to eliminate pests.

  • About 400-500 tonnes of insecticides were used to eliminate the locusts. The boomer and tractor-mounted high velocity sprayers besides fire brigade vehicles were used to control the pests.

  • Timely action against the attack ensured their elimination and no damage was caused to crops.

What are Locusts?

Locusts, popularly known as ‘tiddi dal’, are short-horned grasshoppers. Their appearance in winter months is a new phenomenon.

Were there any previous locusts attack in India?

  • India has not witnessed any full-blown locust cycles after 1962. However, during 1978 and 1993, large-scale upsurges were observed.

  • Localised locust breeding was controlled in 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2010.

  • Since 2010, the situation remained calm and no major breeding and swarm formation has been reported.

Source: The Hindu

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