India has controlled the spread of the crop-threatening migrant pest desert locusts by using the modern technologies, including drones, and made sure that there was not much crop damage, said by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. In PM Modi’s address after the virtual inauguration of college and administration buildings of Jhansi-based Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agriculture, University, the Prime Minister underlined the need to upgrade greater use of latest technologies in the farm sector.
More than 10 states, including Uttar Pradesh, faced the problem of locust in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, PM Modi said adding the Bundelkhand region faced the locust attack after 30 years. Sharing how modern technologies are helpful in addressing the challenges faced by the farm sector, Modi said that the speed at which locust flocks were spreading in the country, it was impossible to control them in traditional ways.
More details about the spread of locusts:
Prime Minister said, “In May, the Bundelkhand region had faced locust problem. I was told the region faced the locust attack after 30 years. Not only Uttar Pradesh, but more than 10 states also faced the locust problem.” Modi said that they controlled this problem in a very scientific way. He also added, “If there was no coronavirus, a week-long positive media debate would have been carried on this. A big success has been achieved.”
Declaring that the central government worked on a “war footing” to save the crops from this pest, Modi also said that a dozen control rooms, including one n Jhansi, were set up and control acquired special spray machines and distributed in the affected areas from the Locust. He also said, “Be it tractors or chemicals, all machinery was put in place to ensure farmers face less crop damage. To save tall trees, drones and helicopters were used for spraying. Following these measures, India has been able to save farmers from incurring huge losses.”
The importance of modern farm technologies, the Prime Minister encourage the young researchers and agri-scientist to work on ‘One life, One mission’ for further technologies like artificial intelligence or drone in all over the world. For the last six years, the government was making efforts to take farm research directly to the fields and can give scientific advice to even the small farmers. He also said, “From college campus to field, there is a need to further strengthen the ecosystem for experts. For which, Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University will also play an important role.”
India faced this problem of Locust in many states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, and Punjab. Although the problem now has been controlled by the government, a large area after timely measures were taken by State and Central government in about 5.66 lakh hectare areas in the affected states, as per the report.
On 24 August, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said that the risk of swarm migration to the Indo-Pakistan summer reproducing area has almost moderate.