Why in news?
The massive locust attack of December 2019 has affected about 25,000 hectares of land in two of the worst-hit North Gujarat districts of Banaskantha and Patan. Farmers to get Rs 18,500 as relief assistance following the worst locust attack in two decades.
What are the crops attacked by locusts?
Kharif crops like groundnut, castor and cotton and rabi crops like mustard, cumin and wheat had been impacted along with poptatoes.
What is locust, their nature and the extent of damage locusts can cause?
The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), is a polyphagous feeder (eating a large variety of plants). Nature and Occurrence:
Extent of damage
The locust division under the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, says that a small swarm of locusts, eats on average as much food in one day as about 10 elephants, 25 camels or 2500 people.
What are chemicals used to contain them?
hazardous - highly toxic chemical - 96 per cent malathion, and Chlorpyrifos (CPS) 20 per cent and 50 per cent for sprayers.
How does India monitor locust swarms?
The Locust Warning Organization LWO (comprising of all field units), a central government body responsible for issuing warnings and monitoring and controlling locust attacks, undertakes regular surveys in the scheduled desert area of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, which are prone to swarms, to monitor the presence of desert locusts and ecological conditions.
These surveys are done regularly during the entire year, but most importantly from May to November.