India is very alert to overcome the threat of a summer invasion earlier than usual against desert locusts. The country’s agricultural activities are at grave risk because many grasshoppers are heading to Indian countries such as Rajasthan after breeding and maturing in the provinces of Iran and Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
The grasshopper warning came on Wednesday after a month of monitoring by the grasshopper warning office, the wing under the ministry of agriculture’s plant protection directorate. Their field agents saw insect clouds in mid-April in the Rajasthan district of Sri Ganganagar and Jaisalmer.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has initiated initiatives to promote regional cooperation to control grasshoppers. There is a consensus that the Grasshopper Desert can pose a major challenge in 2020. The ministry has begun efforts to address this issue by deploying drones, satellite-derived devices, fire tenders, and sprayers at previously identified border locations. He is also considering importing equipment from Britain to control grasshoppers, sources reported.
The Indian government proposes joint efforts to Iran and Pakistan to overcome grasshoppers
The Indian government has proposed coordinated responses to Iran and Pakistan for the control of desert grasshoppers which are expected to shift from Balochistan spring breeding to summer breeding along the India-Pakistan border. India has suggested providing Malathion pesticides to Pakistan to control operations along the border, sources report. While Iran has responded positively to the offer, the Indian government is still waiting for a response from the government led by Imran Khan.
The protocol is also available for India to hold video conference meetings with authorities in Pakistan for a joint strategy according to its source.
According to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in Iran, adult grasshoppers along the southwest coast plains, and other breeding generations are underway in the southeast where hatching takes place on the coast and in the interior of Sistan-Baluchistan. While in Pakistan, adult groups migrate to the Indian border from breeding sites in Baluchistan where hopper groups also exist in Pakistan’s Punjab and Pakistan occupy Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, in India, more adult groups and small gangs have arrived from Pakistan in recent weeks and moved east to Rajasthan, reaching Jodhpur.
Six border meetings between Locust officers led by Indian and Pakistani Plant Protection Advisers are held annually between June and November in Munabao (Indian side) and or in Khokhropar (Pakistani side) to exchange information about the situation of the grasshoppers of the two countries, they said.
Furthermore, regional cooperation in controlling grasshoppers was encouraged by FAO. India participates in FAO Locust Desert Control Committee meetings and sessions, participates and arranges FAO Commission Meeting for Locust Desert Control in Southwest Asia; and participated in the Joint Survey Program with Pakistan and Iran organized by FAO.
Desert grasshopper is a species of grasshopper, a short horned grasshopper that huddles. They are known to devour everything in their path, presenting an unprecedented threat to the food supply and livelihoods of millions of people.
(With ANI input)
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