Drones To Be Deployed In Fight Against Locusts

To resist a potential locust attack, the Odisha Government is readying drones to spray insecticides in remote and unattainable regions of the state. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, the Vice-Chancellor of the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), reported that control rooms have been established in Bhubaneswar to coordinate and tackle the locust threat.

“Control rooms in Bhubaneswar and all districts have been set up to coordinate efforts for combating locusts menace. The Government will use drones to spray insecticides in remote or difficult areas,” said the Vice-Chancellor. “If locusts swarms enter Odisha, they may damage crops in western Odisha because after that monsoon will reach the state and affect locusts` movement,” he added.

Recently, Arun Kumar Sahoo, the state Agriculture Minister affirmed that the state government was prepared to deal with any situation of disaster. As per the latest information, the migratory pests are likely to enter west Odisha through Sundergarh, Bargarh, Kalahandi, and Bolangir and cause damage to vegetable plantations and trees.

The Odisha government, along with releasing an advisory for the imminent attack, appointed nodal administrators to each district who will be sensitized on dealing with the locust swarm situation. Eight lakh farmers have been issued advisories with instructions from the Centre and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The estimated date for the locust invasion in Odisha is around June 15.

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