Locust Invasion Across India Panicked Agriculturists and the Government
The locusts are the new challenge for south Asia after the cyclone Amphan from the Bay of Bengal. The invasion of locusts has stated in India after Pakistan. After Rajasthan, Punjab, and Maharashtra, locusts are destroying crops of fields one after another in the central and northern states of India.
Now it is coming towards Bhopal and Odisha. The locust infestation in those two provinces very close to the border of Bangladesh has made the country’s agriculturists and the government anxious.
Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh has issued special precautionary instructions on locusts in the field. Department of Entomology of the Agricultural Research Institute is monitoring the movement of locusts in India.
The government has also involved the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Deal with the issue; works are ongoing to create a task force and also create a mobile phone app on locusts at the national level.
Earlier last year, another crop-destroying insect, Army Worm, attacked Bangladesh. The pest, which mainly attacks maize fields, spread over the maize fields in 31 districts of the country in the first year.
However, due to the government’s immediate action, only 4 percent of the maize was damaged.
Meanwhile, at the request of the Prime Minister’s Office, a report has been prepared by the FAO on the risk of locust infestation in Bangladesh and what action should be taken if the insect moves.
The story was compiled by Locust Watch, the FAO’s global locust observation organization. According to the report, the risk of the locust attack in Bangladesh is shallow. The report recommended not using unnecessarily toxic chemical pesticides to control locusts.
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak told Prothom Alo that there is no danger of locust attack in Bangladesh. However, if it attacks, maximum preparation has been maintained in the field to avoid significant catastrophe occurrences.
Meanwhile, the government’s Department of Agricultural Extension has issued instructions on locusts at each district and Upazila level. Basically, if locusts are found anywhere, the government should be informed immediately and given what kind of pesticide should be used to control them.
However, the FAO report said that the appearance of a locust-like insect in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in April created unnecessary panic.
In the future, farmers should be careful not to use chemical pesticides on crops unnecessarily. Because of the chemical pesticides used around the world to control locusts, the insects die, and the surrounding crops, fields, and water become increasingly toxic.
Debashish Sarkar, director of the Department of Entomology at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, said, “Duck farming in the crop fields is a very effective method of controlling locusts in Gujrat and various states in India. Ducks can eat lots of locusts.
In Bangladesh, the risk of locusts may be less this year. But if it attacks Bangladesh in the future, its preparations have to start now. We have to look at natural methods like raising ducks.”
Source: Prothom Alo