As swarms of locusts continue to invade parts of Uttar Pradesh, the agriculture department in Agra said 60% of these crop-destroying pests have been killed using drones to spray insecticides on Tuesday.
Swarms of these desert locusts were seen flying over Agra on Monday after invading parts of Rajasthan and Haryana.
“Around 60% of locusts have been killed. Four drones given by the central government are being used to spray insecticides,” SN Singh, the assistant director of the agriculture department said, according to news agency ANI.
An alert for Kanpur has also been issued by the district administration as the insects were seen flying around surrounding areas of the district.
“According to the wind speed, the locusts can enter Kanpur. In view of this, an alert is being issued that all the people should follow the instructions of the government authorities and administration to save themselves from locust attack,” Brahmadev Tiwari, Kanpur’s district magistrate, said.
Officials said the police, health and agriculture departments and the fire brigade are on alert as they keep an eye on the insects’ movement.
In Lucknow district as well, the administration is on alert as the threat of locust invasion looms.
Lucknow’s agriculture department has deployed more than 20 tractor-mounted pesticide guns in border area like Malihabad to kill the desert locusts.
CP Srivastava, deputy director of the agriculture department, said more than 7,000 locals have been roped in these areas to scare away the locusts with the help of drums and other noise-making tools.
The desert locust is a species of locusts, a swarming short-horned grasshopper. They fly in swarms potentially containing hundreds of millions of individual desert locusts and can move 150 kilometres a day.
The invasion of these tiny insects can pose a serious threat to livelihoods of millions and cause a shortage of food supply in their relentless drive to eat and reproduce.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, these are the oldest migratory pest in the world.