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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Panchkula gears up for locust attacks, but authorities say desert thriving pest not likely to migrate to district

The preparations have been made as per the state government's instructions which has sounded an alarm and issued a warning to all the districts after locust outbreaks were observed in some of the southern districts of the state.

By: Express News Service | Panchkula | Updated: July 2, 2020 11:40:28 am
P'kula gears up for locust attacks, but authorities say desert thriving pest not likely to migrate to district The farmers have been advised to visit their lands on a daily basis. (Representational)

In wake of the locust attacks in areas of Haryana, an advisory was issued to the farmers by the administration and stocks of pesticides were stored in Panchkula district as a precaution.

Deputy Director of Agriculture in Panchkula, Wazir Singh said, as many as 25 persons have been allocated the task of making farmers aware of the attacks and take on-ground reports.

The Agriculture Department, he said, has already made extensive preparations to relieve the farmers in case of an attack. “We are sure that the locusts will not be able to reach Panchkula. They are desert thriving pests and it will be difficult for them to come all the way to our district without having any fertile grounds in the middle for breeding,” he said.

The preparations have been made as per the state government’s instructions which has sounded an alarm and issued a warning to all the districts after locust outbreaks were observed in some of the southern districts of the state.

The farmers have been advised to visit their lands on a daily basis. As much as 2,000 litres of chloropyrifos (a pesticide) has already been stored by the Agriculture Department at Barwala Center of Haryana Seed Development Corporation. “We can easily get more if and when it is needed. This is only a precaution,” Singh said.

The Department of Agriculture has also recommended spraying of pesticides, like Bendiocarb, Deltamethrin, Fipronil and Malathion in the fields. Singh said, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the department, a list of tractor driven spray pumps have been prepared to save the farm fields from locust attacks.

A special campaign was also launched by the regional staff of the Agriculture Department to make the farmers aware of the issue and ensure that precautions are taken at the micro-level as well. The farmers have also been advised to inform the administration if they spot a locust swarm.

The Agriculture Department has assured that the locust will not migrate towards Panchkula district, however, the farmers remain apprehensive.

Panchkula has a geographical area of 57,000 hectares of which 21,000 hectares are cultivable. At least 10,000 hectares is used for sowing paddy, 5,000 for maize and about 1,000 for millet.

The remaining land is being used for horticulture and forests. As many as 22,000 families of the state engage in farming as a primary occupation.

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