Bhopal: At a time when India is already fighting the coronavirus crisis, the country is faced with yet another danger in the form of locust attacks that threaten to destroy crops. Locusts entered Rajasthan from Pakistan earlier this month and then drifted into other parts of western India. Also Read - Swarm of Locusts Could Head Towards Delhi if Situation Favours; Uttar Pradesh on High Alert
Locusts, popularly known as ‘tiddi dal’, are short-horned grasshoppers with highly migratory habits and voracious feeding behaviour, known to devour vegetation wherever they settle. Also Read - Terrifying Videos of Locust Attack Take Over Twitter; 'What's Wrong With You 2020', Ask Netizens
The swarm of locusts has now made its way into Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab and Delhi and terrifying visuals of it have gone viral on social media.
Agriculture scientist Jainendra Kanaujia told ANI, “Locusts can be scared away by producing noise by beating of drums and utensils. Chemicals, especially Chlorpyriphos 20 EC diluted in water, can be sprinkled on crops. There is a possibility of great damage to the crops due to locusts. The Agriculture Department and administration is keeping an eye on the issue.”
To protect their farms from these flying monsters, farmers are adopting different strategies. Here are some of them:
In Uttar Pradesh, farmers are scaring away locusts by beating tin drums, plates, etc, and also spraying pesticides on their crops. In Agra, the district administration has deployed 204 tractors mounted with chemical sprays.
A video has emerged from Jhansi, in which a vehicle fitted with loudspeakers, locally known as a ‘DJ vehicle’ is being used to drive the locusts away:
Acting upon the advice, farmers in Budhni and Nasrullaganj areas of Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore district have also been beating utensils in a bid to drive away locusts that have attacked their farms.
Whereas in Jabalpur, farmers have arranged water tankers and chemicals for spraying in a bid to drive away locusts. Disinfectants are also being sprinkled on trees and crops to protect them from locusts in these areas.
Farmers in Hoshangabad, Raisen, Sehore, Sagar, Chhatapur, Harda and several other districts are too beating drums, tin cans, burst firecrackers and even arranging bonfires.
(With Agency inputs)