CLIMATGE CLHOANBGAE­L/PESTThAeTi­TnAcCreKas­e SWARMING

Down to Earth - - Climate Change / Pest Attack - Down To Earth

in fre­quency of cli­mate change-trig­gered events, like cy­clones, has re­sulted in ex­tended and mul­ti­ple breed­ing sea­sons of lo­custs and caused them to move across con­ti­nents

fire en­gines to spray pes­ti­cides,” says Madan Mo­han, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of en­to­mol­ogy at Agri­cul­ture Univer­sity, Jodh­pur.

“We are en­cour­ag­ing farm­ers to hire trac­tors, take free sup­ply of in­sec­ti­cides and un­der­take spray op­er­a­tions them­selves be­cause govern­ment agen­cies can­not go ev­ery­where in a short time,” says

Jat. “We will re­im­burse them,” he adds. Though LWC is the only body au­tho­rised to spray organophos­phate, the govern­ment has al­lowed farm­ers to use them.

The at­tack is also spread­ing to Pun­jab, Haryana and Ut­tar Pradesh. On January 12, the Ut­tar Pradesh govern­ment’s Su­gar­cane Com­mis­sion­er­ate is­sued a press note warn­ing about a lo­cust threat to west­ern Ut­tar Pradesh. But of­fi­cials are still in de­nial mode. K L Gu­j­jar, deputy di­rec­tor, Lo­cus Watch Or­gan­i­sa­tion (LWO) head­quatered at Farid­abad, told

(DTE) that the at­tack was not ex­pand­ing. The di­rec­torate had also de­nied lo­cust at­tack last May.

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