UP's Mathura Prepares For Possible Locust Attack To Protect Crops

The crop-destroying swarms first attacked Rajasthan and have now spread to Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

UP's Mathura Prepares For Possible Locust Attack To Protect Crops

India is currently battling the worst desert locust invasion in more than 20 years. (File)

Mathura:

Insecticides and pesticides will be sprayed on crops and vegetation to prevent a probable attack of desert locusts in the Mathura, an official said on Friday.

Nearly 1,500 spray vehicles have been earmarked for the purpose, District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said.

India is currently battling the worst desert locust invasion in more than 20 years. The crop-destroying swarms first attacked Rajasthan and have now spread to Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Though at present the locusts are swarming in pockets of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, their coming to the district can not be ruled out, Mr Mishra said.

"A meeting with agriculture officers, agriculture scientists and other officers to discuss how to counter the locust attack was held," he said.

He said sufficient stock of insecticides and pesticides has been stored and its sale to other districts has been banned.

The fire service department has been asked to keep fire tenders ready for any eventuality, Mr Mishra said.

A mock drill of the preparations will be conducted today, he said.

According to experts, broadly four species of locusts are found in India desert locust, migratory locust, Bombay locust and tree locust. The desert locust is considered the most destructive.

It multiplies very rapidly and is capable of covering 150 kilometers in a day.

This insect, a type of a grasshopper, can eat more than its body weight. A one square kilometer of locust swarm containing around 40 million locusts can in a day eat as much food as 35,000 people.